Friday, December 4, 2015
Chi-Raq is a film directed by Spike Lee and written by Lee and Kevin Willmott. Set in Chicago, the film is described as a satire and to have as a subject gang violence prevalent in some neighborhoods on the city's south side, particularly, Englewood.
The film's title, a portmanteau of "Chicago" and "Iraq", has caused some controversy. Members of the Chicago City council and city residents have requested that Lee change the name of the film, worried about the image of their city, going as far as to threaten the tax credits that the film maker will receive from the city.
"Chi-Raq" is a common endonym of residents of Chicago's South Side, used to describe the area as a war zone due to its high crime rates. Lee later called Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel a "bully" and several Chicago aldermen "bootlickers" for their criticisms.
More Americans have been murdered in Chicago in the last 15 years than have died in Iraq and Afghanistan combined. Much of the mayhem happens on the South and West sides. The black and brown sides. What they call Chiraq. In the racial mathematics of America, a black person is six times more likely to be the victim of a murder than a white person, and eight times more likely to be the murderer.
The film is clever, hysterical and a fresh take on a Greek comedy in a modern context. US gun laws and Americans' accessibility to firearms never fail to baffle non-Americans...