Spike Lee is under fire for his forthcoming Midwest-based film titled “Chi-Raq.” The film’s newly released trailer was unappealing to many Chicago residents. The synopsis for Spike Lee’s “Chi-Raq,” according to IMDB, reads:
“A modern day adaptation of the ancient Greek play Lysistrata by Aristophanes, set against the backdrop of gang violence in Chicago.”
In this film, women from both sides of warring gangs decide to withhold sex from their gang banging boyfriends in hopes of ending the violence.
The plot didn’t sit well with the Chicago community, as well as its Hip Hop community, including Chief Keef, Fredo Santana, Lil Bibby, Lil Reese and more.
The trailer for the Chiraq film did little to show the essence of Chicago lifestyle and culture. F. Gary Gray did a remarkable job capturing the essence of 90s Los Angeles culture in “Straight Outta Compton.” The same can be said for Dave Simon’s phenomenal work on his Baltimore-based crime drama series “The Wire.”
With the absence of Chicago culture in this project, it begs us to ask if Spike really cares about the violence in Chicago or just the success of his latest film. We suspect the latter. The trailer shows us that this film could’ve been set in any City because Spike failed to do his research. Spike only chose to set his film in the Windy City because both city and term “Chiraq” are hot right now. It was a business move, simply put.
Spike Lee’s latest film may be an amazing piece of work, but reaction to his newly released trailer shows he already lost the intended audience he hoped to capture with his project. If you’ve lost Chicago residents, what are you truly doing this for?
Check out reaction to Spike Lee’s film below:
Richard Autry is the author of this opinion piece. You can follow him on Twitter @RichAutry.