Chi-Raq Analysis

1432 Words 6 Pages
Kyra Walker
DPI #2: Chi-raq
“War; a state of usually open and declared armed hostile conflict between opposing forces”
Spike Lee’s Chi-raq is a movie that is loosely based on Aristophanes Lysistrata. The latter focuses on a women’s strike led by Lysistrata in efforts to end the Peloponnesian war. In the story, Lysistrata devises a plan for all women to withhold sexual intercourse with the men, until they put an end to the war. Lee creates Chi-raq as an extension of this concept. In Chi-raq gang rivalries take the place of the Peloponnesian war and all the women in the city and eventually around the world participate in the strike. The movie functions as a call to action to end violence everywhere but more importantly
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This choice functions in two ways; to make the text more personal to the audience and also to reinforce the “us vs. them” theme present throughout the movie.
The script for Chi-raq is written in part prose and part poetry. This was an amazing idea to meld Chi-raq with Aristophanes Lysistrata, given that it is a greek drama. However it was poorly executed for several reasons. The first of which deals with the inconsistency that exists throughout the film. It begins with heavy rhyme, then it dwindles significantly and by the end falls somewhere in between too much and too little. It is okay to switch between prose and poetry within this genre, however the way it is done in Chi-raq is careless. This style/genre was typically written in Iambic Trimeter (three feet per line or 6 syllables per line). Chi-raq did not commit to one way of writing and that could potentially become very confusing to the average person. Another issue arises because of the colloquialisms implemented alongside the prose/poetry speech. The combining of the two makes for very simple/basic speech at times and thus has a tendency to make characters seem poorly educated.
Despite the language issues, structure wise it was great. The first character seen is

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