( 4UMF NEWS ) Spike Lee Speaks On ‘Chiraq’ Film:
Spike Lee is firing back at critics of his upcoming movie “Chiraq” with guns blazing. The film about gun violence in Chicago, whose title merges the city’s name with “Iraq,” has been criticized by local politicians, including Mayor Rahm Emanuel, for allegedly likening the city to a war zone.
In a news conference Thursday in Chicago, Lee defended the title as he stood next to residents holding photos of loved ones killed by gun violence.
“A lot of things have been said about this film .. [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,” he said, adding that those who criticize it will end up looking “stupid.”
The movie will tackle the issue of violence in Englewood. And for the first time since news of “Chiraq” came to light last month, Lee spoke publicly about his ambitions for the film (expected to start shooting in Chicago in June) at a news conference at St. Sabina Catholic Church in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel reportedly expressed his disdain for the title to Lee himself. According to NBC Chicago, Alderman Will Burns also called for the city council to cut Lee’s tax break unless he changes the film’s title.
Actor John Cusack, a native of Chicago, said he was proud to be in the film. “I am 100 percent sure that the great city of Chicago can survive a film of conscience,” Cusack said.
“I love my city of Chicago, all of Chicago, and I would never do anything to hurt it.” John Cusack attends a Chicago news conference for Spike Lee’s film “Chiraq” on Thursday.
Jennifer Hudson and John Cusack have also been added to the cast. Illinois native Cusack joined Lee Thursday.
The project has been polarizing since news of it hit the web in April. Shortly thereafter Mayor Rahm Emanuel said he told Lee in person of his distaste for the movie title, which equates the violence in certain areas of the city to the danger level of the war zone in Iraq.
“I love Chicago,” Lee said, urging people to give the project the benefit of the doubt.
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