Spike Lee announces WWII film
The ever-controversial Spike Lee recently spoke with the Italian press and announced the subject of his upcoming film. “If you look at the history of Hollywood, the black soldiers who fought World War II are totally invisible,” said Lee. “This is the paradox: black people who were fighting for democracy but at the same time were second class citizens at home.”
To respond to this problematic absence, Lee plans on directing a film about the efforts of the predominately African American 92nd Infantry Division's efforts during World War II against Nazis and fascism in Italy, adapted from James McBride’s Miracle at St. Anna. Lee issued these remarks while scouting for locations around Tuscany. Not content to just speak about racism in film, a persistent theme of his since as early as his student film The Answer, Lee also made some wider political statements, just for good measure. “My belief is that World War Two is the last war that America was right about. Anything after that, Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf War, Iraq -- they were wrong ... wrong.”
While casting is yet to be set, the film has a projected budget of $45 million, which will be Lee’s most expensive film to date alongside Inside Man. It also looks to be Lee’s most expensive independent project, though the film’s producers are currently searching for funding. For the past decade or so Lee has switched between revered documentaries, respected studio projects and rather disappointing independent films. Hopefully stepping away from familiar genres will break Lee out of his independent rut and allow him to focus on characters and plot, rather than merely politics, as in his best features.
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