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.
This is an updated take on the classic Greek play Lysistrata by Aristophanes. See more »
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 »
Written by Kortney Pollard
Published by Mali Music Notes/6 Kolbert Drive/Sony/ATV Tunes LLC (ASCAP)
Performed by Jennifer Hudson
Produced by Mali Music
Co-Produced by Harvey Mason Jr.
Used courtesy of RCA Records, by arrangement with Sony Music Entertainment See more »
Impressive and pretentious, important and difficult.
Spike Lee's latest is dearly ambitious and in some ways brilliant—a retelling of a Greek drama that wraps in edgy contemporary African-American urban culture. There is a narrator, played with usual panache by Samuel Jackson. There are the archetypes, people playing not just characters from the Greek version, but types of characters even if you don't know your Greek plays. And there is Chicago itself, a decaying yet bustling backdrop of the South Side.
What all this doesn't add up to is an immediately bracing experience. It pushes the viewer out rather than sucks them in. It requires patience too often (even the title tracks with words adding intertitles of sorts for the opening song go on long beyond the point we get the point). And it strikes false notes— alternately preachy and stiff.
The intentions are great—heroic even—and the result is singular. It's a special movie with moments of intensity. You might like it just for its being so different, or for speaking so loudly about violence and the idiocy of pretense and posturing among Black males (of the sort here, gangstas and drug lords, normal movie stuff and not the Black males I know). it's a great film at least from a distance.
But I found it tiring and almost dull, having to "try to like it" too often. The fact it's superbly intelligent isn't compensation.
It's worth noting the photography, though professionally sound, is not up to the inventive standards of earlier Lee films. Instead of his trusted Ernest Dickerson (who he stopped using with "Malcolm X"), he's using Matthew Libatique, who comes through much better with his Aronofsy collaborations. Here there is a kind of "fitting in" that limits the freedom the camera might otherwise give the movie.
So, forget the social controversy (and Chicago's mixed reception to the film) and give this a sincere try. I think you'll see if it's going to work for you in the first ten minutes. It won't leave you alone, so find what it's trying to do.
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