Review: Chi-Raq

Director Spike Lee gets back to something like his provocative best with Chi-Raq, a brash piece of agitprop about the need for gun control in America.

Taking its inspiration from Aristophanes’ great anti-war satire Lysistrata, Lee transposes its plot – about a group of women who withhold sex from their menfolkin order to bring about an end to violence – to modern day Chicago, a city where gun-related fatalities in the last 15 years have outnumbered American losses in Afghanistan and Iraq, hence the city’s titular compounded nickname.

Presented in the style of a hip-hop musical – with Samuel L Jackson serving as a one-man Greek chorus – Chi-Raq doesn’t all work, but 
it’s simultaneously righteous and bawdy enough to gets its message across in entertaining fashion and features a great performance from up-and-coming actress Teyonah Parris in the lead.

In selected cinemas

Related topics: