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CHI-RAQ

Director: SPIKE LEE

127 MINS, 2015, USA, DIGITAL


This film was released 2nd December 2016, and is no longer screening.

★★★★★ Guardian

★★★★ Irish Times

When an eleven-year-old girl is killed in the crossfire of a shootout between rival gangs the Trojans and Spartans, Lysistrata (Teyonah Parris), girlfriend to Spartan leader Chi-Raq (Nick Cannon), decides enough is enough, and rallies her sisters to withhold all sexual favours until a cessation of hostilities is observed. Spike Lee’s unlikely reimagining of an ancient Greek drama is the prolific director’s most cinematically exuberant, politically engaged and vital film in many years.

Taking the bones of Aristophanes’ comedy Lysistrata, and its anti-war female-led sex strike, Lee fashions a bracingly current cri de coeur against black-on-black violence in Southside Chicago, an area that has seen more Americans killed in the past fifteen years than the Afghan and Iraq wars combined. The film also playfully honours its theatrical roots with one-man Greek Chorus Dolmedes (Samuel L. Jackson) punctuating the action with delightfully effusive commentary. (Notes by David O’Mahony)

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