Covering Cinema From All Across The African Diaspora

Early Preview Of 'Miracle At St Anna'

On Thursday at the ongoing Silverdocs Film Festival taking place in Silver Spring, Md, where he received the festival's Charles Guggenheim award, according to this dispatch article I read over at, Spike showed an "extended reel" of footage from his upcoming WWII epic, Miracle At St Anna. The article doesn't say how long the reel was, but apparently there was enough for the writer to come up with a brief review of the film, which follows below. It doesn't reveal much we don't already know, but you can definitely feel the writer's excitement for the film.

From IndieWire:

"The relationship of editing to theme bleeds into Lee's narratives as well, a factor demonstrated by the extended clip reel from his upcoming World War II drama "Miracle at St. Anna," which focuses on African American soldiers in Tuscany around the time of the Sant'Anna di Stazzema massacre in 1944. The film opens decades later, when one of the former fighters commits a public murder and the public investigation generates widespread chaos. Ten years after "Saving Private Ryan" revitalized the commercial war movie, Lee appears to have recontextualized the genre from his distinctive vantage point: Suddenly, fleeting nondiegetic inserts give way to a full-on flashback to the war, revealing the details of the grunts' experiences. The preview proved that the film moves fast -- not only in terms of action on the battlefield (of which there's plenty), but tonally as well. One moment, guns erupt across sprawling planes and shouts fill the air; then, a scene of quiet intimacy and unexpected humor, when one of the black soldiers discovers a young Italian boy in an abandoned home. The boy's reaction to his visitor: "A chocolate giant." The story comes from James McBride's novel, but there's no doubt that "Miracle at St. Anna" is a Spike Lee Joint."


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