Lee has reached into his arsenal of heavy hitters with yet another story of
Black Americans enforcing truth and justice on the powers that be in Miracle at
St. Anna. This time, its a fictional story based on a novel and screenplay
written by James McBride about a small group of Buffalo Soldiers from the
infamous all-black 92nd Infantry Division, headed by Derek Luke (Sergeant Aubrey Stamps) with Michael Ealy (Bishop
Cummings), Omar Benson Miller (Sam Train) and Laz Alonso (Hector Negron) in
World War II.
in Tuscany Italy, the infantry of twenty or more start to cross a seemingly
softly rippling river when a parade of deadly bullets engulfs them. The four
survivors who feverishly escape the Nazi attack are left to their own defenses
with little help from their white commander, who shouts to them over the radio
to stop lying about making it over the river. This is where the story
a spared Tuscan town, they meet a slew of memorable characters, including a
little eight-year-old Italian boy named Alonzo who has also survived a
slaughter of sorts. Alonzo becomes a symbol of hope for the four soldiers and
they immediately take him along for the ride. Along their search for refuge,
the five meet and settle into a devastated village where Germans have ravaged
and plundered their food and livelihood but not their dreams of freedom. Oddly
enough, the family of a father and his daughter and the other very few town
members, believe that the Sleeping Man, a mystical legend generations old, will
save them. They are a loving and happy people even through the war and take the
soldiers and the boy in for safekeeping.
Lee doesnt sugar coat World War II; depicting every bit of the death, vicious
chaos, and back stabbing behavior that both sides display. Blood is splattered,
throats are slit, and best friends seek revenge against each other, all in the
name of survival. In the end, truth and justice prevail, albeit in an unrealistic,
almost fantasy ending.
Negron is the only member of the Infantry to survive and carries the wounds and
secrets of his time spent in Italy well into his elder years, So much so, that
he commits murder to avenge his fellow soldiers in the opening scene of the
movie. This murder starts the drama and questions Americas ability to move
past the monstrous remnants of war.
at St. Annaleaves you with many questions, but it is still a movie worth seeing and discussing. Aside from the
subtitles and unbelievable sequence of supposed endings and over two and a half
hour running time, youll be amazed at how Spike Lee continues to throw the
hardest punch to traditional America. Black men are portrayed as intelligent,
worldly, graciously patriotic, and beautifully noble in this film. If for no
other reason, take someone special to see Miracle
at St. Anna and remember that war doesnt end, even when you come home.