[dropcap]W[/dropcap]ith the controversy surrounding his upcoming film “Chiraq” brewing, director Spike Lee addressed the issues publicly for the first time on May 14. Lee’s upcoming film has caused some concern for the residents and politicians of Chicago, even before a single frame of film has been shot.
“A lot of things have been said about the film by people who know nothing about the film,” Lee said during his press conference at St. Sabina Catholic Church. “We felt it was appropriate that we say what the narrative is, the filmmakers, the people who are doing this. Not the people that’s judging from afar.”
The film will reportedly examine the widespread gun violence that occurs in the city’s South Side neighborhoods. Many officials are disappointed with the title of the film, feeling that it concentrates on the negative aspect of the city and is disparaging to residents in the Englewood neighborhood. During his press conference on May 14, Lee urged the city to wait until they see the film. He went on to say that many of his films have been derided even before people saw them.
City officials are wary to let Lee film here, even going as far as denying Lee’s request for a $3-million tax break. Mayor Rahm Emanuel met with the filmmaker before he came to the city and urged him to rename the film. Emanuel said at a West Side anti-violence rally that Lee should take some time and talk to activists around the city.
“What I would say [is] if you’re going to come make a movie about Chicago, or make a movie about what’s going on in Englewood, come see this,” Emanuel said, referring to the city activist by him. “I mean, every one of these faith leaders, community leaders and all the people they represent…they are the real face of the city of Chicago.”
This post is also available in: Spanish