A new cut of the trailer for Spike Lee’s upcoming R-rated drama Chi-Raq trims the fat of the previously released trailer and gets right to the heart of the film. Based on the Aristophanes’ Comedy Lysistrata, which saw the title heroine rallying her fellow women to withhold sexual privileges from their male companions in hope of ending the Peloponnesian War, Chi-Raq sees a similar plot unfold amidst the gun violence of modern day Chicago.
Written by Lee and Kevin Willmott, the film stars Teyonah Parris, Samuel L. Jackson, Jennifer Hudson, Wesley Snipes, Nick Cannon, Angela Bassett, John Cusack, Dave Chappelle, D.B. Sweeney, Harry Lennix, and Steve Harris. Chi-Raq opens in theaters on December 4th.
Check out the new cut of the Chi-Raq trailer below:
This leaner cut of the previous trailer doesn’t offer up more than one new scene, but it does tighten up the message that Lee and company are trying to get across. Sure, general audiences will certainly miss the Lysistrata references, but Lee’s storytelling abilities will certainly serve up a thoughtful and evocative tale nonetheless. I’m of the opinion that Lee’s at his best when tackling a contemporary tale steeped in real social issues; see Do the Right Thing, Malcolm X, and his TV work centering on Hurricane Katrina for evidence in support of this stance. This, combined with the fantastic cast he’s assembled for Chi-Raq puts the feature in contention for one of the year’s must-see films.
Here’s the official synopsis for Chi-Raq:
Chi-Raq is a modern day adaptation of the ancient Greek play “Lysistrata” by Aristophanes. After the murder of a child by a stray bullet, a group of women led by Lysistrata organize against the on-going violence in Chicago’s Southside creating a movement that challenges the nature of race, sex and violence in America and around the world.
Rated R for strong sexual content including dialogue, nudity, language, some violence and drug use.