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Chi-Raq (2015)

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A modern day adaptation of the ancient Greek play Lysistrata by Aristophanes, set against the backdrop of gang violence in Chicago, Illinois.

Director:

Spike Lee
5 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Nick Cannon ... Chi-Raq
Teyonah Parris ... Lysistrata
Wesley Snipes ... Cyclops
Angela Bassett ... Miss Helen
Samuel L. Jackson ... Dolmedes
John Cusack ... Father Mike Corridan
Jennifer Hudson ... Irene
David Patrick Kelly ... General King Kong
D.B. Sweeney ... Mayor McCloud
Dave Chappelle ... Morris
Steve Harris ... Old Duke
Harry Lennix ... Commissioner Blades
Tony Fitzpatrick ... Chief Riptide
Anya Engel-Adams ... Rasheeda
Ebony Joy ... Marcy
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Storyline

After the shooting death of a child hit by a stray bullet, a group of women led by Lysistrata organize against the on-going violence in Chicago's Southside creating a movement that challenges the nature of race, sex and violence in America and around the world.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Spike Lee Joint See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Drama | Musical

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexual content including dialogue, nudity, language, some violence and drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 December 2016 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Чирак See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,198,356, 6 December 2015, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,647,377, 24 January 2016
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In this film, Michelle Mitchenor's character's name is "Indigo". Joie Lee also plays a character named Indigo in another Spike Lee joint, Mo' Better Blues (1990). See more »

Goofs

At the end when the peace signing ceremony is being conducted all the parties involved are on one side of the signing table which is in front of them between the seats of the amphitheater with all the visible seats empty. See more »

Quotes

Irene: Be a good man.
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Connections

References Foxy Brown (1974) See more »

Soundtracks

Sit Down For This
Written by Kortney Pollard, Dean McIntosh, and Pete Martin
Published by Mali Music Notes/ 6 Kolbert Drive/Sony/ATV Tunes LLC (ASCAP), Sony/ATV Music Publishing UK Ltd (PRS), and Sony ATV Music Publishing UK Ltd (SAMRO)
Performed by Mali Music
Produced by Pete "Boxsta" Martin
Used courtesy of ByStorm Entertainment/RCA Records, by arrangement with Sony Music Entertainment
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Chiraq - A Mediocre Movie Made Terrible by Ignoring Real Cries for Real Help
19 December 2015 | by robo042-1See all my reviews

On it's own it's a goofy yet poignant musical. A little boring, if I'm being honest.

But with the name "Chi-Raq" and it being set in Chicago and it dealing with the gun violence in Chicago, the movie is worse than just bad. Chiraq is a real term that real kids in real bad neighborhoods came up with to describe their environment. Chicago's murder rate doesn't look like much when taken as a whole but when you realize that 99% of it occurred in just a few of Chicago's many neighborhoods, you'll understand why those unfortunate kids from those neighborhoods chose this term. These are not white neighborhoods, mind you, remember that Chicago is the most segregated city in America. These kids really have seen more literal dead bodies growing up than most soldiers have seen in Iraq. The term is as offensive and loud as possible because it's meant to get your attention. It is a very literal cry for actual help in every sense of the word.

Spike Lee takes this term and honors the meaning behind it by completely ignoring those cries for help. He chooses to use Chicago to tell some story about how a sex strike maybe solved a civil war one time so yeah that could totally solve all the dead bodies that pile up in Englewood and Fuller Park every year. And the corrupt governmental system keeping it secret and confined to black neighborhoods.

The most obvious example of Spike Lee completely missing what's really going on in the *real* Chiraq is the fact that the gangs in his film beef over colors. Don't nobody care what colors you wear in Chiraq, your chances of being killed are the same regardless. That's some goofy west coast crap. Modern gangs in the real Chiraq form simply out of safety in numbers. Activities vary set by set, block by block. Conflict typically stems from disputes over sex and violence. This is what motivates *most* violence in America, however when it happens on the South Side, it gets labeled "gangland violence" and then gets mostly ignored by media outlets.

Simple things get overlooked like how a lot of these deaths could be avoided simply by building a closer trauma center to these neighborhoods so it doesn't take an ambulance over an hour to get to the scene. How more educational and work force centers can provide direction to directionless kids with no hope. How proper legal representation and education could ensure we're not occasionally sending innocent kids to jail to learn how to become a savage along with the rest of them. These are all common things you'll find missing from most of these consistently super high crime areas in Chicago.

It's gotten bad in Chicago. And when I say bad, I mean real bad. Someone needs to shine a light on what's really going on because it's gone way beyond any other place in America. Way worse than you're imagining. The only thing a sex strike would do on the South Side is make the already high sexual assault rate climb even higher. And that's just real talk.

Which Spike Lee's "Chi-Raq" continues to ignore by examining none of those things. In Spike Lee's world, it's almost like he's saying it's black people's fault the murder rate is so high in places like Austin and West Englewood. Like he's saying "You girls maybe need to stop putting out so much, that's the problem." 1 out of 10 stars, no sympathy for those who chose to ignore real cries for real help from an entire group of disenfranchised youth.


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