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Rated R · 127 minutes · 2015

Comedy drama
Spike Lee's new movie Chi-Raq has received a lot of positive reviews. But why are these positive reviews dead wrong? The problem is not that the film is a mess (messy films can be great works of art); the main problem is that Chi-Raq is based on Aristophanes' Lysistrata, an ancient Greek play about women who bring peace to their cities by withholding sex from their men. And the problem has nothing to do with whether it is a bad or good, faithful or unfaithful adaptation of Lysistrata. The play itself is the source of many of the defects that ultimately implode the well-meaning structure of Chi-Raq. What you see though Lee's contemporary setting of Lysistrata (the war between two ancient cities is transposed to a war between two 21st century Chicago gangs) are the flaws of the original. Was it even really that progressive for its time (411 BCE)? What kind of society reduces the power of half of its citizens to their sexual organs? How is this even funny? This film is an insult to black women (118 min.).
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Director: Spike Lee
Producer: Spike Lee, Jon Kilik and Kevin Willmott
Cast: Nick Cannon, Wesley Snipes, Teyonah Parris, Jennifer Hudson, Steve Harris, Harry Lennix, D.B. Sweeney, Angela Bassett, John Cusack, Samuel Jackson and David Kelly


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