When a Las Vegas performer-turned-snitch named Buddy Israel decides to turn state's evidence and testify against the mob, it seems that a whole lot of people would like to make sure he's no longer breathing.
Christmas, 1983. A New York postal clerk, a Buffalo Soldier in Italy in World War II, shoots a stranger. In his apartment, police find a valuable Italian marble head, missing since the war. Flashbacks tell the story of four Black soldiers who cross Tuscany's Serchio River, dodging German and friendly fire. With a shell-shocked boy in tow, they reach the village of Colognora. Orders via radio tell them to capture a German soldier for questioning about a counteroffensive. In the village, a beautiful woman, partisans that include a traitor and a local legend, the boy, and the story of a recent massacre connect to the postal worker's anguish forty years later. And the miracle? Written by
Endless, unbearable. Italian actors overacting shamelessly and Spike Lee losing track of his own talents. The self indulgence mixed with the confusion made this "epic" one of the most difficult films to sit through in long, long time. During my visit to Los Angeles I was invited to a few screenings but this one was the one I longed for. Terrible let down. It's been a long time since "Do The Right Thing" and I have the feeling that it has to do with Spike Lee's vision of himself as a filmmaker. There is a lack of humility that blurs everything he does and "Miracle At St Anna" is a perfect example of that. In a way "The Inside Man", his genre commercial outing, was more honest and disciplined than anything his done of late. I can't imagine this film making any money so maybe Mr Lee will have the space to reflect. I certainly hope so because I'm sure he still has some aces up his sleeve.
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