Learn more about the characters of Spike Lee's latest movie about a group of women in Chicago's Southside who create a movement against the rise of violence around them.
Lysistrata (Teyonah Parris) is a beautiful, young woman living in Chicago's South Side who is in love with an aspiring rapper named Demtrius "Chi-Raq" Dupree (Nick Cannon). While Chi-Raq is becoming more influential as a singer and as a gang leader, Lysistrata becomes increasingly disturbed by the escalating violence in her neighborhood. In protest, she organizes a sex strike that takes on a life of its own, in her community and around the world.
Demtrius "Chi-Raq" Dupree (Nick Cannon) is the leader of the Spartan gang and an aspiring rapper. Chi-Raq is seemingly more in love with guns and the rivalry with the Trojans, and their leader Cyclops (Wesley Snipes) than with his girlfriend Lysistrata. Much to his dismay, he ends up on the front lines of a battle of wills between the men and the women of the South Side of Chicago.
Miss Helen (Angela Bassett) is a book-loving, peaceful activist. She lost her daughter years before to a stray bullet and knows the pain of the escalating violence in Chicago's South Side. She advises Lysistrata (Teyonah Parris) in the ways of the world and gives her some pointers in peaceful resistance.
Cyclops (Wesley Snipes) is the leader of the Trojans. Cyclops wears a patch on one eye, sports the orange colors of his gang, and is in a neverending war with the rival gang, the Spartans, and their leader Chi-Raq (Nick Cannon). When a sex strike upsets the status quo, Cyclops has to confront what he wants most in life: war or peace.
Irene (Jennifer Hudson) is a neighborhood mother whose 11-year-old daughter Patti is accidentally killed in a drive-by shooting. Irene constantly faces the rampant violence of her home and the apathy and collusion of those who know what happened. A local church puts up a reward for information, and a fiery anti-gun, anti-violence activist, Father Mike Corridan (John Cusack), pleads with congregation to help. But nothing happens.
Father Mike Corridan (John Cusack) is a passionate anti-gun, anti-violence preacher and activist. He's seen too many deaths in his time leading his congregation and presided over too many funerals, including that of an 11-year-old neighborhood girl named Patti. Ironically, it may be the local sex strike that turns the tide in the struggle between war and peace in Father Mike's parish.
Dolmedes (Samuel L. Jackson) is the wise, rhyming, and sharply dressed narrator of "Chi-Raq." His omniscient commentary is a one-man Greek chorus, setting the stage for the sex strike that challenges the two warring Chicago gang factions: the Trojans and the Spartans.