Miracle at St. Anna
Our next Rialto Recommends is another film that we first saw at TIFF, in 2008, that we enjoyed and was later harshly denounced by many critics. If you chose movies solely based on Rotten Tomatoes scores this one would never make it on your radar. Spike Lee's MIRACLE AT ST. ANNA chronicles the story of four American soldiers who are members of the all-black 92nd "Buffalo Soldier" Division stationed in Tuscany, Italy during World War II. The Philadelphia Inquirer said "Miracle is, by turns, a dazzling, dim, lucid, confounding, absorbing, tedious, silly, profound, bloody and bracing account of four African American infantrymen separated from their Buffalo Soldiers unit in Tuscany during World War II." While Roger Ebert offered in his 3 star review "There are scenes that could have been lost to more decisive editing, but I found after a few days that my mind did the editing for me, and I was left with lasting impressions." We offer up MIRACLE AT ST. ANNA not because it is a perfect film but rather because it tells a story that has not been well told on screen. As A.O. Scott in the NY Times wrote "Setting the record straight after so many years and so many movies is not necessarily a simple undertaking, and this film sometimes stumbles under its heavy, self-imposed burden of historical significance." MIRACLE AT ST. ANNA is streaming on HBOMax, HBO and DirectTV or is available to rent for a modest fee from Apple, Amazon, GooglePlay, YouTube, Vudu and others.