*SPOILER ALERT* *SPOILER ALERT* *SPOILER ALERT* *SPOILER ALERT*
I went into Chi-raq expecting to love, or at least like it. I’m a big Spike Lee fan. For years, I had posters of School Daze and Bamboozled, an entirely satiric film, hanging on my walls. I own most of Lee’s films on DVD. Still. And while the film has received a lot of controversy, so has every other Spike Lee film. Every. Single. One. Of. Them. So that didn’t faze me either.
But, um… the only thing keeping me from saying “hated it!” and giving a Z-snap formation like Antoine Merrriweather and Blaine Edwards from In Living Color are the messages in Chi-raq. There are great discussions about the impact of violence in Chicago—the deaths and the bullet-ridden bodies of the living. There’s a lot of “that needed to be said” about the prison industrial complex and the NRA having politicians in pocket, and how something more would be done if the same violence that occurs in some Black neighborhoods happened in White neighborhoods. It needed to pointed out where all these problems stem from, especially high unemployment rates that lead to an underground economy out of necessity. Someone with a platform as big as Lee’s needed to get on a microphone and say, “this”, ie, the violence in Chicago, “is a disgrace!”Read More