Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Movie of the Month - Miracle at St. Anna

In a time when war films are always highly praised and are normally box office sensations, especially when done by world renowned directors and feature an all star cast. None have been more panned or dismissed and unfairly treated the way Spike Lee's 2008 World War II drama Miracle at St. Anna was. The film, which begins in present day shows a post office clerk shooting a customer and is arrested, after being questioned by police and detectives, his motives for the shooting are unveiled as we are sent back to 1944 Tuscany and see the Buffalo Soldiers 92nd Infantry division right on the front line. The Buffalo soldiers were America's segregated minority division of soldiers fighting for a country that would not allow them to integrate but was ok to fight for it's countries freedom. As we follow the members of the battalion they are sent on a mission to a small town in the mountains where they encounter a small boy who mute and the sole survivor of a massacre that happened in his town of St. Anna. As the German's are pressing in to the small town to take control of the region, we see the batallion become like family to the Italian villagers that are seeking protection. A beautiful and heartbreaking film told in three languages, Miracle at St. Anna is one of the most overlooked films of the last decade. On it's release it was trashed by critics, yet those that saw it in theaters could only think otherwise. With a great supporting cast that includes Dereck Luke, Michael Ealy, Laz Alonso, Omar Miller, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, John Turturro and John Legazamo, Miracle at St. Anna is a film to reconsider and watch.