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Spike Lee Film "Chi-Raq" Premiering In Chicago

(CBS) -- The title alone caused protest and controversy but tonight, "Chi-Raq" the movie premieres.

The premier is being held at the Chicago Theatre, where Spike Lee and the stars of this made-in-Chicago story about life and death on the Chicago's streets will arrive.

The public will get its first look at this production which stirred up opposition from some, including Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who worried that it cast Chicago in a light that was both unfavorable and untrue.

The film is an updated version of a play from Greek antiquity in which the girlfriends of gang members decide to withhold sex until their boyfriends to put down their guns.

Major scenes were filmed at St. Sabina Catholic Church in Auburn-Gresham. At St. Sabina's Mass this morning, director Spike Lee, actors Nick Cannon, John Cusack and several other stars from the film were on hand.

Fr. Michael Pfleger has this to say to Lee's critics, who are concerned about the film's focus on Chicago street violence.

"Let me say this loud and clear for all the haters and critics with their own agenda: thank you, Spike Lee for addressing an issue that nobody has the courage to address," Pfleger said. "Thank you cast, who were a part of this."

The movie opens nationwide December 4.

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