Spike Lee has been in the news a lot lately for #OscarsSoWhite, his love-letter documentary that premiered at Sundance – Michael Jackson: The Journey From Motown to Off The Wall and Chi-Raq. With Chi-Raq, Lee puts a modern spin melting gun violence in America with the ancient Greek play “Lysistrata.” which results in a classic battle of the sexes with women putting a lockdown on that sweet spot.
So incase y’all are not hip to Lysistrata…homegirl persuades the women of the Spartan and Trojan gangs to swear off sex with their men until the fighting ceases.
It wouldn’t be a Spike Lee joint without some war council scenes with the women or trash talking scenes with the men. All of that is enhanced tied together with Samuel L. Jackson’s narration and a raw, original score by Nick Cannon who stars alongside the beautiful Teyonah Parris.
What I adore about Lee is the always keeps it real and cast actors not only at the top of their game, but are physically reflective of the people of color I see when I walk out my front door. It’s written in prose just as the Greek fables are told and your really have to pay attention to catch the ingenious quips in the dialogue. Trust me it is well worth the journey.
It was also refreshing to see some old Spike Lee Joint fav’s who quite frankly without Spike casting them in “Do The Right Thing”, “Mo Better Blues”, “Jungle Fever” and more it may have taken us a little longer to be introduced to their talents (Wesley Snipes, Samuel L. Jackson, Roger Guenveur Smith).
My favorite scenes involve a full-scale musical version of the women kinda breaking it down for the men about their chastity belts and a eulogy given by Father Mike Corridan (John Cusack). Cusack is so compelling in this scene and proves once again why he continues to work in this medium on a grand scale. Jennifer Hudson’s moment as grieving Mom Irene reminds us all that her Oscar win for “Dreamgirls” was not a fluke. Mama got chops all day long!!!!
Chi-Raq received four NAACP Image Award nominations and was honored by #AAFCA landing in its TOP TEN and a Best Actress nod for its leading lady Teyonnal Parris is arriving now available for purchase at all Digital HD retailers as well as, select digital platforms such as Amazon, Vudu, Xbox, Playstation, Google Play and MGO. Blu-ray + Digital HD and DVD + Digital.