Spike Lee’s Chiraq movie has been buzzed about ever since Lee first announced he was filming a movie about Chicago. Detractors criticized Spike for the Chiraq name, even before seeing any footage of Chiraq, and even though Lee wasn’t the one to come up with the “Chiraq” nickname, which is a combination of the word Chicago and Iraq. Now that the below video trailer of Spike’s Chiraq has been released, the buzz about Lee and his new film has begun anew.
The first trailer for Lee’s Chiraq was released from Amazon, reports Variety, and despite all the criticisms flowing into social media about the way that Spike tackled Chicago’s violence using humor, there are those that counter that at least Lee is using art to talk about the issue at all. And it’s an important issue to discuss, especially on the heels of the shocking news of 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee being gunned down on Chicago’s South Side, as reported by WLS-TV.
Recent reports reveal that a $20,000 reward is being offered to find Tyshawn’s killer, a person or persons who may have intentionally murdered the basketball-loving, 9-year-old boy because of gang rivalries of older family members. Beyond the news about the $20,000 reward being offered for information that leads to the arrest of Lee’s killer, more news about another deadly Chicago shooting comes as Lee’s new movie Chiraq‘s trailer has been released.
A recent winner of a Mario Tricoci model competition, named Kaylyn Pryor, was also shot and killed on Monday, reports WGN-TV. The 20-year-old Pryor, from Evanston, was killed in the 7300 block of South May.
With all the violence surrounding the two senseless tragedies in Chicago, Spike’s Chiraq comes at a pivotal time. Lee’s Chiraq takes its plot of the movie from the ancient Greek comedy, Lysistrata. So that’s where Chiraq’s sex strike comes into play, with the women in the film withholding sex from their men in order to try and get peace in Chicago and stop the killings. It’s something that might’ve worked in Greek days, and perhaps in modern-day Chicago, but the fallacy in that plotline presumes that women don’t want sex just as much as men want sex.
Either way, Lee’s Chiraq features stars who haven’t been seen on movie screens in some time, with a welcome sight for folks like Dave Chappelle to grace the screen. Joined by others like Wesley Snipes, Chiraq also features Jennifer Hudson, a well-known talent of a woman, an actress, and singer, also from Chicago, who experienced tragic deaths in her own family.
Teyonah Parris, in the spotlight for her Survivor’s Remorse role, rounds out the cast with Samuel L. Jackson, Angela Bassett, Nick Cannon, the rapper Sasha Go Hard, and John Cusack.
On Twitter, Spike’s name has become a trending topic, with folks weighing in their opinions about Chiraq left and right. Those Lee fans will have to wait until December 4 to see Chiraq, with the movie expected to have a limited release. The master of such films as Do the Right Thing, School Daze, She’s Gotta Have It, and Malcolm X, Spike is one writer/director who knows how to get people talking about his movies.
The Chiraq trailer from Spike, as reported by MSNBC, can highlight the fact that more than 1,000 folks have been shot in Chicago in 2015. That number exceeds the 817 people shot in Chicago in 2013, and the 933 people shot in Chicago in 2014. More than 500 people have been killed in Chicago in the past decade, so a film like Chiraq is timely and on point.
Chiraq is also already receiving Oscar buzz.
[Photo by David Banks/Getty Images]