"Chi-Raq" is bold and audacious -- the qualities needed to address the violence that's pervasive in America right now. The new Spike Lee film, in theaters Friday, turns the classic Greek play "Lysistrata" into a modern-day treatise on inner-city crime. To goad black, male gang members into not shooting one another, Lysistrata (Teyonah Parris) convinces women on Chicago's South Side to deny their boyfriends sex until the killing ends. What ensues is a funny but scorching portrait of race and gender politics.
One of the movie's most powerful scenes finds an intrusive salesman arriving at the front gate of neighborhood den-mother Miss Helen (Angela Bassett) to peddle life insurance for her nephew. It's one way the community of Chi-Raq -- a portmanteau of Chicago and Iraq -- is encouraged to take precautions as the African-American body count rises. Still raw from losing her own daughter to a bullet years earlier, Helen does not appreciate the suggestion that her nephew's life is in jeopardy. Watch the scene in the clip below, exclusive to The Huffington Post and its parent company, AOL.
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