"Miracle at St. Anna": A Peek at Spike Lee's New Film

View scenes from Lee’s new film chronicling the lives of four Black World War II soldiers
ESSENCE.COM Sep, 25, 2008

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The big-screen adaptation of “Miracle at St. Anna” tells the story of buffalo soldiers during Word War II. As the soldiers—Michael Ealy, Derek Luke (front), Omar Benson Miller (behind Matteo Sciabordi), and Laz Alonso—prepare for war, they meet a lost Italian boy (Sciabordi) along their travels.

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The soldiers, led by Luke, enter the unknown in Tuscany, Italy

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Under attack, the soldiers fight for their lives.

“Service people are fighting for the man or the woman in the hole next to them who is going to save their life, and they’re trying to protect theirs as well,” says Alonso, who plays Corporal Hector Negron, left, in the film. “They’re fighting so they can go back home and see their kids. They’re fighting to live another day.”

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Ealy’s character, Sergeant Bishop Cummings, checks the surroundings for safety with actress Valentina Cervi.

“It felt like we were about to really go into battle,” he says of dressing in the uniform for the film.

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Private First Class Sam Train (Miller) tries to convince his superior to take the lost Italian boy (Sciabordi) with them.

“Train can be interpreted by some as slow or dumb, and that’s not the approach I took,” Miller says. “I just felt like he had a different sort of intelligence and had country smarts. I felt his naivety and innocence were his saving grace.”

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Corporal Negron (Alonso) shares a special moment with the lost boy (Sciabordi) during the film’s climax.

“[This] was probably the toughest character that I had to get rid of thus far because it was so emotionally taxing,” Alonso says of his role.

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Ealy, Alonso, Luke and Miller stand tall. “Miracle at St. Anna” sheds light on the realities of Black men fighting for a country that treated them like second-class citizens.

“[This film] made me very proud to see where America has come to get away from that,” Miller says. “Unfortunately, a lot of those themes and issues in the film are still relevant today, which shows how far the country needs to go.”

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