‘Chi-Raq’ red carpet premiere at Chicago Theatre

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CHICAGO -- "Chi-Raq" Spike Lee's controversial film about violence in Chicago had a red carpet premiere at the Chicago Theatre Sunday night.

The film has been highly anticipated here ever since director Lee started shooting here in Chicago last spring and summer.

The premiere brought out both supporters and protesters alike. One such protester held a sign that read "liberation, not misrepresentation" under the marquee.

Director Spike Lee responded to the protesters by saying, "Look, this is a free country, people have stated their piece about my films, myself, my character since 1986, so it's not new."

The film is a satire based on the ancient Greek play "Lysistrata" by Aristophanes, a story in which the women of Greece withhold sex until the men put an end to war.

Lee says he hopes the classic material set in Chicago resonates in today's culture.

The stars of the film, many from Chicago, say they hope the film has an impact on the persistent of street violence, "It is a salvo across the box, if you will, of what is going on in the streets of Chicago, no one who can actually do anything about it on the political front has done anything," said actor Harry Lennix.

Spike Lee has been telling everybody to withhold criticism until they've actually seen the film.

It will begin a limited run in theaters on December fourth, then it will have a streaming release online.