REVIEW – ‘CHI-RAQ’ (trailer)

I am so conflicted by the looks of this film. A part of me is a Spike Lee fan, I love most of his films. Another partof me is often annoyed by his public actions and opinions.

Being from the Chicagoland-area, I hate the term “Chiraq.” The term references the high murder-rate in the city and compares it to the war in Iraq. The term is accredited to Chicago’s “drill music” scene, consisting of artists like Chief Keef and Lil Bibby. The “drill music” culture isn’t about glorying the crime in Chicago as much as it personifies the crime in Chicago. It is proven that Chief Keef was involved in some criminal acts, his music represents those acts. I am not excusing Keef and artists like him for promoting that criminal culture. I am simply saying that they are telling their story, they are painting a picture of the worst parts of the city.

It is not Chief Keef’s fault that his music was more attractive to the mainstream than other Chicago artists, like Chance The Rapper, who promote more positive lifestyles.

There are parts of this “Chi-Raq” trailer that disgust me. Makes my skin crawl. There are also parts that intrigue me. The immediate annoyance for me was Nick Cannon portrayal of a gangster. Ugh.

The way it seems Spike shot the film and his storytelling method, it feels very similar to Justin Simien’s “Dear White People” — a film that may have been influenced by Spike’s past works.

The film seems to be about women withholding sex in order to stop the violence in Chicago, which is just stupid. Very stupid.

Spike Lee is known for taking a serious issue and adding some comic relief to it to bring everyone down to earth, which I appreciate as a moviegoers. I hope the concept of women withholding sex is just comic relief. If not, he has to address systemic racism and how impoverished these predominantly black communities are; which leads to unemployment, which leads to desperation, which leads to crime.

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The title “Chi-Raq” is propaganda, now Spike has to hope this film is good enough to help him climb out of the grave he dug himself by using such a controversial term.

Go check out “Chi-Raq” in a theater near you on December 4th 2015, I am anxious to see how it turns out.


Biggest positive of the film? Samuel L. Jackson is in it, playing a role possibly similar to Mister Senor Love Daddy!!

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