The movie trailer for Spike Lee’s Chi-raq was released a few days ago and people seemed to have either loved it or hated it. Critics of the movie complained about everything from the title choice down to the actors chosen to star in the film. Some even felt that the trailer watered down the severity of the crime in Chicago.
The mayor of Chicago spoke out against the title choice saying that it painted an unrealistic picture of the city, while others felt the picture painted wasn’t realistic enough and that the movie made light of the crime issue in Chicago. Chi-raq is a nickname given to the city because the violence in certain parts is comparable to war zones in Iraq.
The original trailer comes off as a comedic Broadway musical showing women making an agreement to withhold sex from their men in hopes that it will cause the violence in the city to stop. The backlash from the trailer was so heavy that Spike Lee spoke out:
“Chi-raq” is not a comedy. It’s a satire. There’s a difference between humor and comedy. In no way, shape or form are we not respectful of the situation that is happening in Chi-raq. This film is about serious business.”
Lee also released a second trailer which gave off a more serious tone. Seeing that Lee is a veteran filmmaker with a track record for making successful innovative and unconventional films that deliver a powerful message, I’m surprised that there is so much negativity directed at the movie. I think Lee knows exactly what he is doing and he has everything under control. The film is set to be released in limited theaters next month and it will also be available for streaming on amazon.
Watch the trailer here.