- - Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Spike Lee’s latest, the star-studded “Chi-Raq,” opens nationwide on Friday. The storyline, in case you’re unaware or even care, spins on the relentness blood-letting in Chicago.

One thread of that storyline has a religious hue to the activism in the aftermath of the boys’ killing.

Here are some of the comments central figures made about those scenes. The Q&A was posted on the Chicago Sun-Times website.

The film is a take-off of the Greek play “Lysistrata,” but keep in mind “Chi-Raq” is a Spike Lee joint.

Question: “How many takes did you do of the sermon scene?”



Answer: John Cusack. “Two. [It wasn’t difficult] to find inspiration. When you’re in Saint Sabina, and the whole congregation is from Saint Sabina, they’re not extras. … It’s a very special place, whether you’re Jewish, Muslim, Christian, gay, straight, drunk, sober, you’re welcome. There’s more love and acceptance in that room, and there’s churches and synagogues and mosques, not just Saint Sabina, doing special work.

A: Real-life Chicago priest, Father Michael Pfleger. “When I [saw the scene] with brothers in a yard talking, I felt like, ‘This is real. I’ve heard those conversations.’ It goes deeper to the issues of Chi-Raq’s father’s past, and generational issues. … We’ve got a problem. To me, the great thing about the movie is, it’s saying, ‘We have a problem.’ Yes, Chicago is the poster boy, but it’s an American problem we’re not dealing with. And that’s why the movie has caused such controversy, because it touched a nerve.”

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