Spike Lee's "Chi-Raq" Film Gets Release Date | NBC Chicago

Spike Lee's "Chi-Raq" Film Gets Release Date



    Spike Lee, alongside John Cusack and Father Michael Pfleger, discusses his upcoming film "Chiraq" and the criticism it faces. (Published Thursday, May 14, 2015)

    Spike Lee’s Chicago film “Chi-Raq” now has a release date, Lee posted to Instagram Friday.

    The film, which has made national headlines for its controversial title, will be released Dec. 4 in some theaters.

    The movie was filmed in Chicago over the summer and is expected to highlight the violence that has thrust the city into the national spotlight in recent years. It features stars like Nick Cannon, Wesley Snipes, Jennifer Hudson, Teyonah Parris, John Cusack and Samuel L Jackson.

    "Chiraq" is the slang term some use to compare America's third-largest city to a war zone because of its violent crime.

    The name has been criticized by area politicians, including Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who said it denigrates residents of Englewood and surrounding areas, where the movie was filmed.

    Those in support of the film say the title is a "reality of what's happening in the city."

    Lee tried to quell criticisms of the movie and its title in May, telling Chicagoans to “see it first.”

    “A lot of things have been said about this film,” Lee said at the news conference, attended by residents holding photos of loved ones killed by Chicago gun violence. “By people who know nothing about the film. A lot of people have opinions about the so-called title of the film. Again, they know nothing about the film.”

    Lee did not reveal any details surrounding the film, which could reportedly be a musical comedy, but instead said he believes the film is important.

    Amazon Studios has said the film will be the first-ever Amazon Original Movie, and could be Lee’s “greatest, and definitely his boldest film yet.”

    First announced in January, Amazon Original Movies will allow the company to produce and acquire original films for theatrical release while also offering an “early window distribution” for Prime members.

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