Spike Lee On Chicago’s ‘Self-Inflicted Genocide’ And How To Combat Gun Violence

"There has to be some gun reform," Lee said.
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Receiving backlash from local politicians for his forthcoming Chicago-based film, “Chi-raq,” won't deter Spike Lee from highlighting gun violence in America.

During a recent interview with Deadline, Lee said it is part of his responsibility as filmmaker to produce a project that reflects the harsh reality of Chicago's concerning crime levels, especially those throughout many parts of the city's South Side.

“I would just be irresponsible as a filmmaker to not comment on this self-inflicted genocide, which is happening,” he said. "The majority of the shootings and the killings are in the south side of Chicago. Chicago – I mean I’m not the only one to say this – arguably is one of the most segregated cities in the U.S.”

Lee began producing the film in June and spent just over a month in the city to shoot the remainder of the project. Within that time, violence in Chicago certainly didn't cease -- and Lee made note of it.

“During that time of production while we were in Chicago, 331 people got wounded and shot and 65 got murdered. And one of the issues that we talk about in this film is that guns are out of control here in America,” he said. "There has to be some gun reform and that is going to be a fight because you have to go up against the NRA, the National Rifle Association. And their lobby is very, very powerful."

Following the conclusion of filming “Chi-Raq" in July, Lee published a post on Instagram to share condolences to the families and friends of those affected by the shootings.

“Spike Lee’s Chi-Raq” is set to hit theaters and Amazon Prime in December. Read more of Lee’s Deadline interview here.

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