On November 4, 2015, prolific New York native and filmmaker Spike Lee released the movie trailer for his recent film “Chiraq”. This movie depicts the horrific violent city Chicago, and its rapid killings of young people. There has been plenty of speculation from young native residents and native Chicago rappers that disagree with Spike Lee’s display of the cities’ violence. Other speculation comes from recent viewers of this movie trailer saying that the movie looks more like a parody of Chicago’s inner city violence than an actual strong platform for its black on black violence.
I recently saw the movie trailer for “Chiraq” on a social media site called Tumblr and at first glance, I thought it was a parody of the gun culture in Chicago. Of course, if you’re a fan of Hip-Hop, in the last 2 years or so, you’ve heard remixes and covers to the song “Chiraq” by Lil Durk, Chicago native rapper. When I saw the movie trailer for “Chiraq”, I immediately thought it was a parody to that song, but decided to watch it anyway. After watching the video I saw that it wasn’t a parody for the infamous song, it was actually a film on the portrayal of gun violence in the murderous city, Chicago.
If I didn’t read the comments and tags provided by the reblogger on Tumblr, I wouldn’t have even known it was a movie trailer created by the notorious black filmmaker Spike Lee, known for stirring the melting pot of racial inequality in America for over 30 years. This movie trailer made me so confused. This was actually a film by Spike Lee. The cast is Black Hollywood inspired with actors/actresses such as Nick Cannon, Angela Bassett, Wesley Snipes, etc., but so far the delivery of the film looks water-downed, especially if you know the history of Chicago violence. I can’t wait to see the whole movie when it airs in December, but through the dust and smoky mirrors I can vaguely see where Spike Lee is trying to go with this movie. As a fan of the classics “Do the right Thing”, “Crooklyn” , and “School Daze”, just to name a few, I know everything isn’t as it seems. Spike Lee is an arduous artist that delivers beautiful honesty in every film he creates. He creates art that some people cannot mentally, visually, or emotionally understand. A movie trailer doesn’t tell all, but it did what it was supposed to do, which was stir the pot and keep people talking. Whether it’s good talk or bad talk, people are talking.