Spike Lee’s upcoming film, which has grown to Voldemort-esque levels of “Film-That-Will-Not-Be-Named” around these parts, will be a musical comedy based on the Greek play Lysistrata by Aristophanes. The play takes place during the Peloponnesian War (431 – 404 BC) and finds the titular character banding other Greek women up to devise a plan to find peace by withholding sex from their husbands and partners to stop the war. The comedy, however, comes in the ironic fact that Lysistrata and her group grow just as sexually-frustrated as the men, creating a dichotomy of mixed feelings. The setup does fall in line with Lee’s recent works, and would fit the narrative of a young woman holding out from doing sex until those around her stop the violence in Englewood.
However, looking at Lee’s last film, Da Sweet Blood of Jesus, is still alarming, as the film was a spiritual remake of Ganja and Hess, but didn’t do anything to separate itself from its source. The film’s title, too, does fit in with the proposed narrative, yet it’s still insulting to constantly be attached to and defined by war, especially if the film insulates itself completely within Englewood and not throughout the entire city.
Furthermore, the film will be a musical comedy, which I think is being done to further subvert the film’s title, yet sugarcoating the real problem just makes matters more problematic. I’m assuming the musical elements of the film will be due to the soundtrack playing more of a role within the film rather than a more traditional musical, but that’s just conjecture. On that same note, it’s reported that Kanye West, who was courted for the film, won’t be appearing, but may still be providing something for the soundtrack.