Controversial Spike Lee Film ‘Chi-Raq’ Garners Positive Reviews | Film News
There hasn’t been this much talk over a Spike Lee movie for quite a long time, let alone a movie that’s any good, having recently made a pointless English language adaptation of Oldboy. Chi-Raq appears to tap into Lee’s hay day of films like Do the Right Thing and Malcolm X which tapped into the social climate of those times and in some ways haven’t changed a bit.
Chi-Raq is a reference to the climbing death toll in Chicago which is higher than in bigger more populated cities like New York and even bigger than deaths of the American special forces fighting in Iraq. Lee sparked some controversy while shooting the film, from local Chicago residents who thought that the makers of the film were taking advantage of a hot topical issue, exploiting the deaths of recent killings in headlines.
The plot follows a group of women who commence a sex strike in retaliation to the gun violence in Chicago. It’s a comedy/drama with some references to the Greek tale Lysistrata and despite the controversy, it has recently received good reviews from The Hollywood Reporter and Variety, Hollywood Reporter’s Todd McCarthy citing “a lively and legitimate way to tackle urgent subject matter that other film-makers have found excuses to avoid”. The film is being produced as an Amazon studios film, it stars Teyonah Parris, Samuel L. Jackson, Nick Cannon, John Cusack, Angela Bassett and Jennifer Hudson.