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Will "Chiraq" Be Well Received?

Spike Lee is making a new movie based on black-on-black violence in Chicago. Many residents are unhappy about the name, likening Chicago to Iraq. Will the movie be well received?

83% of writers and pundits say no
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Will "Chiraq" Be Well Received?  

Writers and pundits who say or about the topic, "Will "Chiraq" Be Well Received?"
last 24 hours | chicagotribune
Ald. David Moore denies permit for 'Chiraq' party - Chicago Tribune

"...Ald. David Moore, 17th, said in a news release that he turned down the request for a permit from the church in Auburn Gresham, where the Rev. Michael Pfleger has worked with Lee on the film, because he "did not see how the long-term impact would be beneficial. In fact, it seemed like another veiled attempt to buy the community's support."The film project has been controversial for months, with Mayor Rahm Emanuel coming out against the title, a slang term that compares the street violence in Chicago to that in Iraq. Ald. Will Burns, 4th, called on the state to withhold tax credits from Lee unless he changed the name.Now Moore, who was elected to his first term this year, is weighing in."I applaud the fact that (Lee) wants to bring national attention to the senseless gun violence taking place in the city's black communities," Moore said in a statement. "What I object to is the branding of these communities to the rest of the world who will never know anything about the real people who live in Englewood and Auburn Gresham. All they will ever know is the name Chiraq and the overreaching association with the war torn nation of Iraq."..." see full article


1221 days ago | theguardian
Chiraq and Lowriders storm fuelled by Hollywood's exploitation habit - The Guardian

"...Over the weekend, Spike Lee came under fire over a working title for his new film, starring Samuel L Jackson, John Cusack, Jeremy Piven, Wesley Snipes and local Oscar-winner Jennifer Hudson, about gun violence on the mean streets of Chicago's south side. Chiraq conflates the Windy City's name with that of a Middle Eastern former war zone, drawing ire from local politicians despite the Do the Right Thing director having promised to adopt a respectful attitude during a press conference last month at which he urged critics to wait for the final movie. If you really want to stop the violence, you got to create living wage jobs, alderman William Burns, who represents parts of the South Side, told CNN. You got to create hope in these communities, and that means you have to get people to invest in those communities, and if the brand for those communities is Chiraq,' would you want to risk your capital? Would you want to take on debt to invest in a neighbourhood called Chiraq? ..." see full article


1224 days ago | mynews4
'Chiraq': Working title of new Spike Lee film ignites firestorm in Chicago - KRNV My News 4
"...It's a relatively new byword, and it's now reportedly the working title of a drama that Lee is filming in the most violent neighborhoods on Chicago's South Side and elsewhere in the city.The very name has ignited a political firestorm, especially in City Hall, where Mayor Rahm Emanuel and others dispute any suggestion that Chicago is home to gunplay and death...." see full article


1224 days ago | theconversation
Chiraq: Spike Lee's latest film a comic riff on the violence which blights ... - The Conversation UK
"...Information has been leaked that the film is to be a musical comedy based on Aristophanes's ancient Greek drama, Lysistrata. This suggests that Lee is seeking to break with convention and stereotype in the representation of the black inner city.A drama centred on one woman's campaign to end black-on-black violence through encouraging women to withhold having sex with their men (a modern take on the subject of Aristophanes's Lysistrata) might provide a humanising and accessible way to understand how African Americans themselves can avoid deepening the wounds inflicted on them by the wider social, economic and political order...." see full article


1224 days ago | theguardian
Chicago residents fighting back against Spike Lee and the Chiraq moniker - The Guardian

"...For city officials, Chiraq is a summer publicity crisis. Since 2012 when the number of homicides spiked above 500 in the city, Chicago has been in the national spotlight for its gun problem, which has been problematic for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel who has made great efforts to reach out to advocates in Englewood and elsewhere to show his administration is invested in finding solutions.Last month he told reporters that he talked with Lee to tell him he was not happy about the film's title and to assure him there are very good people that live in Englewood who are raising their families and there's a lot of positive things that are happening [there] mainly driven by the people that make up Englewood. However, the violence problem persists. According to Chicago police data, there have been 161 homicides in the city through 31 May, an 18% increase compared to the same time last year. Some media reports say homicide numbers are actually much higher due to how the city collects and reports its data...." see full article


1224 days ago | chicagotribune
Response to Spike Lee's 'Chiraq' in Chicago - Chicago Tribune

"...In other words, if Lee's movie and its propagation of the term "Chiraq" (not a term he invented) prevent international tourists from coming to Chicago or scare away investment from the neighborhoods it highlights, then that could result in further economic deprivation, therefore making the violence worse, not better. Burns was actually hinting at this argument and he has a very good point: Chicago's international rat-a-tat reputation does limit tourism, as anyone who has traveled abroad well knows. More jobs and better education, it is generally agreed, mean less gun violence. That means those neighborhoods have to be marketed. And protected by their leaders.There is a darker side to this argument too. Competing cities like New York have a vested interest in branding themselves as safer places to visit and do business, and in suggesting otherwise about Chicago. Politicians and businesses do this all the time: defining the competition is a legitimate tool. It long has been convenient for those cities to define Chicago in a certain way. Every night the musical "Chicago" plays in New York, and it does, to an international audience, suggest the Midwestern rival is more larded with graft, corruption and violence. To some degree, it perpetuates that which it chronicles. Which is not to say it does not have the right to do business...." see full article



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