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Spike Lee Offers 'CHI-RAQ' Preview...In Martha's Vineyard

By Emma G. Gallegos in Arts & Entertainment on Jul 27, 2015 5:20PM

Coming soon to...Martha's Vineyard (Instagram)

This summer Spike Lee is offering a sneak peak of scenes from CHI-RAQ, his first feature film for Amazon Studios that tackles the violence plaguing Chicago's streets through musical comedy (Editor's note: How musical comedy could be a suitable genre for depicting the ongoing horrors of Chicago's entrenched gun violence problem is still beyond us).

Spike Lee, along with stars Nick Cannon and Teyonah Parris, will participate in a roundtable discussion at the event along with Chicago's real-life Father Michael Pfleger (who will be portrayed in the film by John Cusack).

But there is one seemingly odd catch to the event: it takes place in Martha Vineyard—worlds away from the South Side of Chicago and the rampant gun violence the film will tackle. But there's an explanation: The event is a part of the Martha's Vineyard African American Film Festival.

Lee posted an announcement of the event "The Color of Conversation" that will take place at Martha's Vineyard Performing Arts Center on Aug. 14. The film is slated to come out this December. It's supposed to be an update of the Greek drama Lysistrata. That's the one where Greek women band together and stop having sex with their husbands until their husbands stop fighting in the Peloponnesian War. Jennifer Hudson, Samuel L. Jackson, Dave Chapelle and Kanye West have been tied to the project.

Local politicians haven't been a huge fan of the film's title, and some have even tried to use tax credits to pressure Lee to come up with something different. (We have our own issues with the term "Chiraq" that predate Lee's project.)

Here's what it looks like outside Lee's headquarters in Brooklyn right now.