“Chi-Raq” is, without a doubt, the film I discussed the most outside of class. From deep conversations with classmates to rants with anyone who would listen, I spent so much time
complaining talking about this movie. However, I never got around to blogging about it because I honestly didn’t think it was worth my time. This review accurately sums up almost all of my initial thoughts. However, with a few weeks of reflection, I’ve decided to attempt to formulate my rant in a productive way that seeks to explore and understand the real work of “Chi-Raq”.
On another note, I was interested in reading more on the man Father Michael from Chi-Raq was based on. In case anyone else was curious, I’ll put up some of the content I looked at!
I felt the following New Yorker article was pretty comprehensive and painted a good picture of who exactly Father Michael Pfleger is and stands for. Though he is a strong anti-gun activist, he also fights for job and development projects in predominantly black areas in Chicago. His role in the neighborhoods he represents is very interesting, and he seems to be a very central figure in the push for gun control/economic reform in Chicago. He seems to be incredibly well received by his parishioners, and dedicated to his plight in rebuilding Chicago.
“We have an enormous opportunity to make some real changes in Chicago…The city needs an overhaul, not just the police.” He went on, “You drive through it, you see boarded-up homes, broken glass, closed-up businesses. And they’ll tell people, ‘Be hopeful!’ But you have to transform what you see. What do we do to make the South Side look like the North Side—and not just make it, demand it?”
This clip of Father Michael addressing gun control issues, I found to be comparable to the character Michael Corridan in the film. I wanted to see if Father Pfleger has spoken about his portrayal in Chi-Raq, and found this image of Father Pfleger marching alongside Lee after the premiere in New York, so I’ll assume he was in favor of the character Father Micahel Corridan. http://abc7chicago.com/news/spike-lee-father-pfleger-march-for-peace-after-ny-chi-raq-premiere/1106533/