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Spike Lee's War Epic Starts a Battle With Italy

Spike Lee's War Epic Starts a Battle With Italy

When Spike Lee adapted the novel Miracle at St. Anna, he intended to celebrate the memory of African-American soldiers trapped in an Italian village during World War II. He also ended up offending a whole different set of veterans. Italian World War II anti-Fascist partisans have denounced Miracle at St. Anna as full of lies, and insulting to the Italian Resistance.

In August 1944, Nazis killed 560 civilians in the village of Sant' Anna di Stazzema. The tragic episode is featured in the film, which suggests that the anti-Fascist forces indirectly caused the attack by hiding in Sant'Anna, but then fleeing when the Nazis descended. In addition, one character is shown collaborating with the Nazis. The author of the novel answered to the controversy:

I am very sorry if I have offended the partisans. I have enormous respect for them. As a black American, I understand what it's like for someone to tell your history, and they are not you. But unfortunately, the history of World War II here in Italy is ours as well, and this was the best I could do . . . it is after all a work of fiction, not a history book.

Spike Lee seems to think he has fact and fiction on his side, saying to the Italians: "I am not apologizing for anything. [There's] a lot about your history you have yet to come to grips with . . . This film is our interpretation, and I stand behind it.” Since the movie was epically disappointing to BuzzSugar, perhaps the controversy wasn't worth it.


Join The Conversation
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
IMO all his movies blow, I wont be seeing this one because i have no doubt i would fall asleep.
Mina-Xue Mina-Xue 8 years
Why should Lee apoligize if he feels his work is good? He's not an ass for standing behind his work imo. I agree 100% liliblu.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
Wait, Spike Lee created a movie that insulted people?!?! Is this the very first time? It's just funny that Spike insulted a group of Italians instead of the usual...
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
stephley stephley 8 years
Conservatives who agreed with President Bush's comments in Israel and/or who criticized Obama for suggesting diplomacy should be tried with our enemies.
bellaressa bellaressa 8 years
I also, forgot to add the book in which the movie is based is very good. You all should check it out. I will hold my judgment of the movie until I go see it.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
Which "you guys" are you stereotyping me in with this time?
stephley stephley 8 years
I thought you guys equated diplomacy with appeasement. And in the case of this story, an apology may be just that.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
liliblu liliblu 8 years
Why should Lee apoligize if he feels his work is good? He's not an ass for standing behind his work imo.
organicsugr organicsugr 8 years
Only one Epic, there is...
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
steph, the sky is blue, grass is green and the Earth is round. I'm sure you will find a problem with that statement. I am basing my comment on what I read in this article. You certainly don't like my opinion, or much really, but I am entitled to it and sticking to it as well. The comment posted in this article, especially compared to the one from the author, in my opinion, make lee look like an ass.
stephley stephley 8 years
Lee's an ass for saying he stands behind his film? In the linked article, Lee's as diplomatic as the author, without apologizing for his work: "After receiving the honorary citizenship award from Sant' Anna mayor Michele Silicani, Lee said: "I have no doubts that the partisans were great but they were not universally loved by the civilian population. There are no heroes or villains in my film, the majority of Nazis were brutal killers but some were better than others and the same goes for the partisans. It was a complicated time and there are many different ways of interpreting history and before I made the film I spoke to many survivors and got their blessing." The village's mayor defended the US filmmaker. "I have seen the film and it exalts the value of the partisans, its true it speaks of a traitor partisan but above all it also shows those partisans who fought to the death to defend civilians." he said."
bellaressa bellaressa 8 years
I would love to hear from soldiers, get their POV.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
And judgement from you as well. I am speaking for his diplomacy, or lack there of. Just look at the author's compared to his.
stephley stephley 8 years
"And yet another opportunity for Spike Lee to go above and beyond to make himself look like an ass." Pretty serious judgment there - have you read the book, seen the movie, or studied Italian forces in World War II?
amybdk amybdk 8 years
I was wondering what this movie was about. Sort of hard to tell from the previews.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
And yet another opportunity for Spike Lee to go above and beyond to make himself look like an ass.
Kelliegrl Kelliegrl 8 years
I'll judge for myself after I've seen the movie. I think a lot of people like to bash Spike Lee b/c he's outspoken and unapologetic for his art. In general though, whether people agree with his ideas or not, I'm glad he's as outspoken as he is otherwise we would get the same perspectives repeatedly. So I'd rather make the judgement for myself after I've seen it.
liliblu liliblu 8 years
I didn't read the Buzz review but one of my friends who saw the movie really enjoyed it.
foxie foxie 8 years
Well... at least the author was eloquent in his apology.
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