One of the most prolific filmmakers of our time, Spike Lee, visited our friends over at Sway in the morning to talk about his highly anticipated yet criticized movie Chi-Raq. The movie is actually a satire of Greek playwright Aristophanes’, Lysistrata. Lysistrata is a comedy about a woman on a mission to end the Peloponnesian War by any means necessary. She persuades the women of Greece to abstain from sex as a means of forcing the men to negotiate peace, but I guess you’ll have to check out the movie to see how that works out!
Tracy G from Sway In The Morning mentioned to Mr. Lee that many young people were shooting the film down after only seeing the trailer some weeks prior. She explained that many of these same young people felt that the “black woman’s character was deduced to her sexual parts.” Lee responded swiftly by naming Teyonah Parris, Angela Bassett and Jennifer Hudson. “If you don’t think those great actors portray strong black women in the film, then I don’t know if you know what a strong black woman is.” Oh, but baby, Spike cocked that head to the side and went hard in the paint right quick!
“And for those haters, who hadn’t seen the film who felt that we were making fun of the murders in streets of Chicago, we were making light of it. Jennifer Hudson’s mother, brother and nephew were murdered in Chicago. Why would Jennifer Hudson be in a film that ridiculed her murdered mother, brother and nephew? Why is she being part of that? Why would Pam Bosley who’s head of the organization Purpose Over Pain–whose sons and daughters were murdered– Why would she be in a film that made a mockery of her children who were shot down and murdered on the streets of Southside Chicago?”
These are all 100% valid points! I mean, up until last Thursday, most of the people talking ish hadn’t received any movie premiere passes to see the movie early, so they were judging the entire film off of a 2 minute 30 second trailer. Lee went back in though and this time he brought the heat! If you feel offended by what he said next, then it’s not my fault that the shoe fits 😉
“So, people talking that shit, they don’t know what the fuck they’re talking about. This film in no way, shape or form makes fun of anybody who got killed. This film was made to save lives and this other shit people are talking about is a distraction. Let’s focus on what the movie is about. The mayor talking about not being concerned about the title of the film, [when] at the same time he knew he saw that tape– I think! So, let’s not fall for the muthafuckin’ okie doke! Let’s stay focused on what the film’s about. It’s not just about Chicago and it’s not just about black folks. Gun violence has affected every single American in this country. Let’s not go for the okie doke. Be smarter than that! This film is about saving lives. Our children are being murdered on the streets. Let’s talk about what’s really happening in this country, not this other bullshit.”
The “tirade” as he called it did end there, but he had one more thing for the haters who think Nick Cannon is too soft and clean cut to play a typical Chicago jawn. “Here’s the thing that’s really sick. Nick Cannon is not a savage. Is that the new norm for these young buds in Chicago to be a savage? That’s what we’re going to aspire to? To be a savage? So, I should not cast nick cannon ’cause he ain’t kill nobody? ‘Cause he ain’t have muthafuckin’ bodies on him? I’m not going for that bullshit! There’s nothing commendable about being a savage! That’s not who we are. I don’t care, you should not be getting props on how many bodies you got! There’s nothing fly about that shit and it’s not being a man.”
If anyone could address the state of black youth, it’d be Spike Lee. He gave us She’s Gotta Have It, Do The Right Thing, Boyz In The Hood and many other timeless classics. My point is, he’s been trying to wake us up for 30 years now, so see the film and soak in the message! If you’ve seen Chi-Raq, tell us what you liked about it in the comments!
TSR Intern: Talia O. @theclosetratchet on Instagram & @tallyohhh on Twitter!
Source Cited: http://bossip.com/1260456/spike-lee-goes-ham-sandwich-over-chi-raq-criticism-on-sway-in-the-morning-video/, https://vimeo.com/144523728