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Spike Lee Releases Trailer for Film on Black-on-Black Chicago Violence

(40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks)

By    |   Tuesday, 03 November 2015 10:16 PM

A trailer was released on Tuesday for Spike Lee's latest film "Chiraq," which takes on black-on-black violence in Chicago's Englewood neighborhood.

The movie's title comes from a nickname given the city by rappers for the extreme violence there. It is a portmanteau of Chicago and Iraq.

"Chiraq" is based on the Greek comedy "Lysistrata" by Aristophanes in which the women of Greece conspire to withhold sex from their husbands in an effort to end the Peloponnesian War.

Women in the trailer can be seen conspiring to do the same unless their men eschew violence.

"I will deny rights of access and entrance," they chant in unison.

"Homicides in Chicago, Illinois, have surpassed the death toll of American Special Forces in Iraq," a narrator says in the trailer, before Samuel L. Jackson is seen onscreen saying, "Welcome to Chiraq!"

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel met with Lee in April and tried to persuade him to change the film's title. Emanuel has been under fire over the city's high murder rate, and has attempted to balance defending his city's image while addressing concerns of Englewood residents who want a safer home.

"He did say the movie would take on the subject of black-on-black violence, specifically African-American male to African-American male violence, and how it's affecting the community and what goes on," Emanuel was quoted by the Chicago Tribune at the time.

"I said then, and I believe, that's an important conversation to have. Given you're a great artist, while I don't support the title and I don't like the working title, the topic is a conversation that has been ignored for too long and needs to be discussed."

Lee was tight-lipped about the movie, and after waves of criticism he told Chicagoans to see the film before criticizing it.

"A lot of things have been said about this film, by people who know nothing about the film" Lee said at the time. "A lot of people have opinions about the so-called title of the film. Again, they know nothing about the film."

The movie stars Teyonah Parris as Lysistrata. In addition to Jackson, the film stars Wesley Snipes, Jennifer Hudson, Nick Cannon and John Cusack.

The film will have a limited release on December 4, followed by release on Amazon Instant Video, Variety reports. 

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A trailer was released on Tuesday for Spike Lee's latest film "Chiraq," which takes on black-on-black violence in Chicago's Englewood neighborhood.
spike lee, film, chicago, black, violence
Tuesday, 03 November 2015 10:16 PM
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