Well, we’re one day away! After all the debate around the film since it was first announced that it would be Spike Lee’s next joint, the time has come for you all to finally see it, and then we can have an fruitful, collectively informed discussion about the work.
Amazon Studios will release “Chi-Raq” starting tomorrow, December 4, 2015 in a theatrical release deal that involves both Roadside Attractions and Lionsgate (noteworthy as both have previously teamed up on prestige film fare).
The film’s solid cast includes rising star Teyonah Parris and multihyphenate and Nick Cannon, as well as lauded veterans like Angela Bassett, Samuel L. Jackson, John Cusack, Harry Lennix, Steve Harris, Wesley Snipes, and D.B. Sweeney. Singer/actress Jennifer Hudson also features.
“Chi-Raq” is a modern day adaptation of the ancient Greek play “Lysistrata” by Aristophanes. After the murder of a child by a stray bullet, a group of women led by Lysistrata (played by Parris) organize against the on-going violence in Chicago’s Southside, creating a movement that challenges the nature of race, sex and violence in America and around the world.
Spike Lee directed the film from a screenplay he co-wrote with Kevin Willmott (writer and director of the woefully underseen 2004 mockumentary, “C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America”) – an effort to shed light on the very serious, but often overlooked issue of violence in inner city Chicago.
As noted, the film has been at the center of much debate – at first over the use of the portmanteau “Chi-Raq” as its title; and, most recently, criticism of the still unseen film based solely on its trailer, and the few clips that have been released thus far.
Spike Lee has been candid about all the controversy surrounding “Chi-Raq,” directly addressing the uproar, emphasizing that it is indeed a serious film – a work of satire that’s essentially designed to shake up the status quo: “People, this film is not a joke,” Lee has said repeatedly.
With December 4 less than 24 hours away, everyone will finally get to actually see “Chi-Raq” – a film that, as of the time of this posting, has a healthy 81% *fresh* rating via movie review aggregator website, Rotten Tomatoes, based on 31 critics. So it’s certainly off to a good critical start.
Ahead of tomorrow’s premiere, Shadow & Act has been granted an exclusive first look at 3 character posters from the film, featuring 3 of its stars, Teyonah Parris, Angela Bassett and Jennifer Hudson – each emblazoned with each character’s mantra.