Spike Lee is one of our most important filmmakers. Even when his finger isn’t quite on the pulse of his subject (Miracle at St. Anna), he has a distinct voice that is able to cut right to the heart of the social and racial issues.
Lee’s latest is Chi-Raq, a modern adaptation of the Greek comedy Lysistrata. In the original play, the women of Greece band together to withhold sex from their husbands in order to leverage peace during the Peloponnesian War.
The title comes from local Chicago slang that compares the city’s death rate to that of American soldiers in Iraq.
In other words, some pretty light stuff. Check out the trailer below:
I dig that trailer a lot. Lee’s sensibilities work very well with the Greek theatricality at hand (Sam Jackson working as Greek chorus is the job he was born to do). The musical aspects smashing up against the ornate modernity of it all make the film visually arresting, with the dialogue at least partially inspired by the source play.
It looks like Lee isn’t pulling any punches and nor should he when it comes to dealing with the violence permeating the city of Chicago. We’ll see how this all comes together when the movie is released as Amazon Studios first original feature in theaters and on demand on December 4th.