(CBS) – Spike Lee is getting support for his controversially titled movie “Chiraq,” about Chicago violence, from a source some may consider unlikely.
Lee plans to set his movie in Englewood, one of several violence-plagued neighborhoods that have earned the nickname “Chiraq.” Some feel that name—a blend of Chicago and war-torn Iraq—furthers negative perceptions about the city.
But activist priest Michael Pfleger, pastor at St. Sabina Parish on the South Side, in a Facebook post says he supports the director.
“The killing in Chicago and around the Country by both Police and Black on Black crime is Unacceptable, and it’s real,” Pfleger said. “If Spike Lee has the courage and God knows the talent to dig into this Black on Black Crime and try to bring about a Healing and Solution…THANK GOD.”
Pfleger says he trusts the director, based on his overall body of film work. He says people worried about tourism should do more to push for economic development in troubled neighborhoods.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel and some aldermen have panned the “Chiraq” title. Some have questioned whether any city assistance should be yanked from Lee’s film project.
Among several films, Lee has directed a biography of Malcolm X and “Do the Right Thing,” about racial tensions in New York.