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Friday, September 26, 2008

Maybe Miracle at St. Anna is Spike Lee's Inland Empire

Cinematical's got a nice review of Spike Lee's new movie Miracle at St. Anna. So far, since She's Gotta Have It, I've liked every Spike Lee joint that I've seen - I think I've seen most of them - perhaps all but 2 or 3, so I am looking forward to checking out Miracle, and I like it already.

I like the idea of Miracle because the lead characters are four non-"white" World War II US soldiers. As far as I know hundreds of thousands of non-"white" soldiers (coming mostly from colonies in Asia & Africa, and of course the segregated US) fought on the side of the Allies but, over 60 years after the end of the war, their stories have barely begun to be told in fiction films. I enjoyed the recent French movie Indigenes, which dealt with a group of non-"white" soldiers from French colonies fighting for the Allies in WWII - even though the ending of that movie was kind of depressing (but then war in general is depressing & the movie did lead to a positive change in French government policy).

Now that the historical value of Miracle has been established, let's think about all the negative reviews of the movie. Maybe, like David Lynch's Inland Empire, Miracle is both a departure & a grand experiment for Lee. Most people, as far as I recall, didn't know what to make of Empire, and a lot did not like it, but some loved it, and celebrated it as bold art. Unlike Indigenes, Miracle sounds like a fantastic - as opposed to a realistic - story. Attempting to tell such a story using the war movie genre is a relatively new & unusual thing, so, even if Lee fails in some areas, the fact that he tried something new & interesting is worthy of recognition & celebration. Or, it might not be that great, or it might be very messy, but Miracle sounds like a wild adventure, & specially since Spike Lee made it, I am definitely going to check it out.

Check out the Cinematical review of the movie here. From the review:

"It's taken me a while to write a review of Miracle at St. Anna, probably because I kept thinking about it, turning it over in my head, challenged and confounded by certain scenes and inspired to contemplate and consider by others; in an age where some war movies (and, you could suggest, even some wars) are made to be briefly contemplated and then forgotten, that alone should tell you that Miracle at St. Anna is worth watching for yourself."

Check out the rest of the Cinematical review.

- Sujewa

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