'Miracle at St. Anna' Writer, Cast Share War Stories

Spike Lee's latest movie, Miracle at St. Anna, is about the sometimes forgotten contribution of African-American soldiers during World War II. It's based on James McBride's novel of the same name.

While battling racism from the U.S. military and attacks from the Nazis, one of the soldiers in the all-black Buffalo Soldiers Division risks his life to save a young Italian boy.

Farai Chideya sits down with three stars of the film — Derek Luke, Laz Alonso and Omar Benson Miller — as well as writer James McBride.

In part one of the extended video interview, each actor opens up about the personal journey they took with their characters, and what they brought away from that experience. They also don't hold back while dishing about what it's like working with master auteur Spike Lee (who will be on Monday's show).

In part two of the interview, Farai asks how ethnicity and race play a significant role in Miracle at St. Anna. We also learn that Derek Luke wants to blow things up as an action star and Omar Benson Miller's life has come full circle, thanks to NPR.

Are you planning on seeing this movie over the weekend? Feel free to submit your own review below.

Related Link: Official Miracle at St. Anna Website



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An intrigueing dialogue with three gifted actors gazing at the philosophical and spiritual aspects of "Miracle at St.Anna." McBride is a brillant insightful writer. It was interesting to her the race perspective,actors aspirations, and to literally see Farai suavely make radio a theather of one's roboust imagination. Farai you are a maverick jouralist comprehending the sensibilities of humanity! I am very proud of your journalistic accomplishments!

Sent by Derrick | 8:34 PM | 9-26-2008

After Spike Lee's recent interchange regarding the lack of African-Americans in the "Flag of our fathers" movie, I was prepared to see him knock it out of the ball park with 'Miracle at St. Anna'. Big let-down.
The movie aspires to be as historical as "Malcom X" or "Glory" but settles at the level of light entertainment such as "Forrest Gump".
In general, I think Spike Lee is brilliant and very cutting edge. He simply tired too hard on this way and lost his way 1/3 of the way through the movie.
In regards to Allison Samuels review of HBO's "True Blood"

I was very disappointed at Ms. Samuels' lack of knowledge regarding the "True Blood" characters. She was dismissive of a series that she describes as just another vampire movie using sterotypical Black chararcters. Were she to read the books (Sookie Stockhouse series by Charlaine Harris) and store line, she would know this is anything BUT average or sterotypical. It deals a lot with issues of class and race. The central point of the series IS people who are minorities, of low socio-economic class, vs. the good old White Southern elites.
The book is fun but gritty. The main character brings out of hiding how anyone can be a target of hate groups.

However Ms. Allison Samuels doesn't have to worry about the character of the "black transvesite drug-dealer" for long, he gets killed in the book by people as small-minded as Ms. Samuels. Because this character's crime was to be Black, male, and gay, living in the South,with the audacity to attend White parties.

P.S. Ms. Samuels, he is not a drug-dealer.

Sent by Ann-Marie | 1:11 AM | 9-28-2008

Thanks for posting this interview. I saw the film today and loved it. Yes, the battle scenes were difficult to watch, the racist remarks unpleasant, but the story addresses a time that we must not forget and therefore, the movie must be seeen. I was disappointed to see only about 10 or 12 people in the theater I went to today in Philadelphia. I hope the numbers change rapidly.

Spike tells the story well. As a matter of fact, there are number of secondary stories portrayed. Extremely entertaining. GO SEE THE FILM PEOPLE!

Sent by lynda | 7:40 PM | 9-28-2008