Last week the Angelika Theatre- Dallas held an exclusive screening of Spike Lee's new joint, Chi-Raq. Attendees included filmmaker "one to watch of 2016" Ya' Ke Smith. Here is my take!
With gritty intoxication Spike Lee takes you inside South Side Chicago's war zone, Chi-Raq. Nothing can prepare you for this uncensored, thought provoking satire, an unique adoption of the ancient Greek play by Aristophanes.
After a child is murdered in plain sight as a result of gang violence a distraught grieving mother Irene (Jennifer Hudson, who can relate as she dealt with her own Chicago deaths in 2008) begs the community to justice. Fed up with the toll of those caught in the line of fire, women put away their differences and band together to stage a sex strike. The ultimatum- men must put away all guns. Lee captures the witty sensuality of Lysisrtata (Teyonah Parris) who leads the charge and also happens to be the lover of rapper/gang leader Chi-Raq (Nick Cannon). Dolmedes (Samuel L Jackson) uncensored narration sparks each transition with hysterical word play. His rhymes reflect the frustrations of both sides.
Nick Cannon exposes layers of a rough and tough persona while Wesley Snipes as Cyclops plays his eccentric rival. Inferences to US gun control, the passing of Mike Brown, and lacking “underprivileged” employment encourage viewers to “wake up.”
The explosive content of Chi-Raq proves to be of Lee’s most consciously provocative yet. Check out the trailer here. Chi-Raq is in theathers this Friday, December 4th.