Thursday, October 02, 2008

Double Standard for Spike Lee

Just saw a news report about Italians upset with Spike Lee over the depiction of the massacre of Santa Anna. In the movie (which I wont' see, I don't really care for war movies much, unless they're about the Air Force!) Lee has Partisans flee the village, leaving the citizens behind to be massacred by the Germans.

Santa Anna villagers say that's not how it happened.

Spike Lee's response:

In Florence yesterday Lee defended his film. "It's not a historical text, it's a fiction," he said. "There are different versions of what happened at Sant'Anna di Stazzema, so we don't have anything to apologise for," and the whole row "has been enormously blown up by the media". The controversy, he added, "demonstrates that in Italy there is still an open wound". That is one claim that no one will argue with.

Let's repeat that: "It's not a historical text, it's a fiction,"

So Lee has really no right to get upset because Clint Eastwood didn't have a couple of black extras wandering around behind the scenes during the flag raising at Iwo Jima. (Blacks were indeed there, as they were in most theaters, but were rarely armed or took part in fighting.)

Frankly, why do this Santa Anna movie at all? What should have been told is the real story of the Red Ball Express. A movie made in the 60s with John Wayne had no blacks in it, either, but it was mostly blacks who were the drivers for the Red Ball Express.

Better still, a movie version of the Red Tails - the Tuskegee Airmen, or of Bessie Coleman, first black aviator ever!

(And as a side note... apparently able bodied men in the village saw a flare and fled into the woods, leaving women and children to die in the massacre. What I want to know is, why didn't those able bodied men take the women and kids with?)

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