This is a short interview with Lee that is worth watching. One can see two things from Lee when he is talking about his latest film Chi-Raq, first you can feel his frustration, not anger, but his sad frustration for the direction things went over the past couple decades, with all the violence and innocent deaths that are happening all over the country. This is something that is clearly dear to Lee’s heart, as we’ve seen in his films like Crooklyn, Do the Right Thing and Mo Better Blues what a neighborhood should look like, and how this image has changed in Chi-Raq. Lee says,”We have failed our youth” because they don’t care if they die, and life is the most precious thing. This is where we see Lee’s obvious not only concern but love he has for children as he wears his heart on his sleeve with this matter. Something has got to change and I believe that Chi-Raq is a way for Lee to communicate with a contemporary audience about this message, to say that violence doesn’t have to be the way.
If you skip to 16:00 of the press conference on Chi-Raq you can listen to Lee talk about the film in relation to its criticisms. He connects Chi-Raq back to Do the Right Thing, how there was controversy over the film the same way there is with Chi-Raq and the message and response are still the same, human life is more important than property, than business or politics and this film is trying to send the message to stop violence, to save lives. One can certainly see Lee’s frustration come out at times with the people’s responses and how they are missing the point but you also see how deeply he cares about this problem, about the lives being lost and about the future for America’s children.