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Chi-Raq: Directed by Spike Lee. With Nick Cannon, Teyonah Parris, Wesley Snipes, Angela Bassett. A modern day adaptation of the ancient Greek play Lysistrata by Aristophanes, set against the backdrop of gang violence in Chicago, Illinois.

“Iu0026#39;m a fan of Spike Leeu0026#39;s movies and was expecting to be cajoled into deep thought on todayu0026#39;s urban problems by this film. Mr Lee has directed some very good films. Do the Right Thing is still one of my favorites. However, in Chi-raq Mr Lee has taken a highly stylized approach to his subject, and this becomes evident early in the film when every character is speaking in rhyming couplets. This continues nearly unbroken throughout the movie. I must say I found urban poetry in Do the Right Thing, but none in this film. The rhyming began to feel artificial, not conducive to either the mood or the setting, and it quickly wore thin. u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eAdditionally, Mr Lee gave the film a strongly burlesque quality, at times extremely so, and this was clearly meant to be comic. The humor was so exaggerated, however, that it seemed ill- suited to the very serious problem it was trying to address: the murder rate of young African-Americans at the hands of other African-Americans in urban America. u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eSome reviewers on IMDb have asserted that Mr Lee failed to address the real problem, the u0026quot;war on drugsu0026quot;, but the topic of the film is more complicated than simple bad law enforcement policy. Lee gave the film a hard sexually charged theme, focusing on reducing violence through female induced sexual abstinence. But he reduces the focus of responsibility in the broader society to white racism, which is likely partially true but not completely so, and even this aspect of the film is presented as burlesque. u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThe filmu0026#39;s principle faults: It is not good drama, it is not good comedy, and it is not a film which provokes much thought on a problem that truly deserves attention.”


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