“No Peace, no piece!”
‘Chi-raq’ (2015) is a modern day adaptation of the ancient Greek play “Lysistrata” by Aristophanes. A city which is riddled with gang violence and innocent civilians getting caught in the crossfire until one day, an incident involving a young girl’s death ultimately leads Lysistrata (Teyonah Parris) and all the women of the city to withhold sex from their men until peace is attainted.
‘Chi-raq’ is a difficult film to recommend, mainly because I’m not sure which demographic was Spike Lee aiming for. Its a very admirable film with a powerful message and great performances all around but its lack of tonal inconsistencies kind of makes it not the dark outrageous comedy it could’ve been. It lacks the wit and charm of his earlier films like ‘Do the Right Thing’ (1989) but contains the sharp polticial/ social satire of films like ‘Inside Man’ (2006). Spike Lee’s films have always been either Hit or a Miss and sadly, it deviates more towards the latter.
But in any case, if you’re open for something different and don’t mind the lack of a singular tone then ‘Chi-raq’ is a city for you to visit. Samuel Jackson is just hilarious as the pimp.