Tuesday, October 14, 2008
On "Miracle at St. Anna"
This photo kind of sums up how Spike Lee must have felt about the end-product when he finished putting together his film, "Miracle at St. Anna."
I'm not a film critic. And I do admire Spike Lee and the responsibility with which he has pursued his film career and subject-matter. But all I can say is, "What the f---!???" Seriously.
The back-story to this film is something powerful: the so-called black "Buffalo Soldiers" serving in WWII; fighting for a country that still gave them no rights; soldiers obtaining more power and freedom in the military than they had in their civilian life. And yet . . . and yet this film was so full of cheese-ball B.S. that I wanted to cry. WHY!!?? WHY!!??
How could Spike Lee have made this film? It has just as much in common with the ridiculous slap-stick "Life is Beautiful" as any other war movie. If anything, it probably sets back the story and respect for the Buffalo Soldiers of real life, as opposed to doing them justice and honoring them.
And I just don't get how that happened. Spike Lee is a big deal. He had the final say on all of this. He is the one who chose the terrible, soap-opera soundtrack. He's the one who directed the "Chocolate Giant" to play a Bubba-Gump stereotype of a black man. He was the one who filled the movie with ridiculous "oh-so-cute" ABC Family moments of a scruffy-haired white child that talks to his imaginary friend and works miracles.
So how? How? This is the same man who directed freaking "Malcolm X." The same man who called out Clint Eastwood for the lack of black soldiers in "Letters from Iwo Jima" and "Flags of our Fathers." And his response? Disney Films meets . . . meets what? I don't even know.
I wanted this movie to be good. I wanted it to convey its message with strength. I wanted the poor reviews to be just another indication of white America's inability to stomach racial truth.