Films & Schedules

  • Miracle at St. Anna

  • Spike Lee

English, German, Italian
166 minutes

Production Company:
40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks/On My Own
Executive Producer:
Jon Kilik, Marco Valerio Pugini
Spike Lee, Robert Cicutto, Luigi Musini
James McBride, based on his novel
Production Designer:
Tonino Zera
Matthew Libatique
Barry Brown
Maurizio Argentieri
Terence Blanchard
Principal Cast: Derek Luke, Michael Ealy, Laz Alonso, Omar Benson Miller, Pierfrancesco Favino, Valentina Cervi, Matteo Sciabordi

Canadian Distributor:
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Canada
US Distributor:
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
International Sales Agent:
TFI International

Sunday September 0709:00PM VISA SCREENING ROOM (ELGIN) Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist
Tuesday September 0911:00AM VISA SCREENING ROOM (ELGIN) Best Bet Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist
Saturday September 1308:30PM RYERSON Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist

The Second World War has been mythologized in countless movies and documentaries, yet the unique experiences of African-American soldiers is still widely unknown. Spike Lee's epic Miracle at St. Anna returns to that storied conflict, but this time through the eyes of the all-black 92nd Division, known as the Buffalo Soldiers. Many of these men suffered discrimination and abuse in the United States easily equal to the hardships faced by prisoners of war. When they arrived in the chaos of Italy late in the war, they were expected to risk their lives for a country that had failed to recognize them fully as its sons. And still they fought.

Tuscany, 1944. Four soldiers in the 92nd fight together on the front, but they also argue among themselves about the merits of fighting for America. Staff Sergeant Stamps (Derek Luke), Sergeant Cummings (Michael Ealy), Corporal Negron (Laz Alonso) and the towering Sam Train (Omar Benson Miller) come to depend on one another in the constantly shifting reality of the war, but they are deeply divided as men and as black men in particular. Some pin their hopes on improved rights in the United States after the war; others have seen enough injustice to have lost all trust in the wisdom of the American dream and the predominantly white officers who embody it.

The film is a gripping exploration of humanity under fire and the great tragedy of war, driven by Train's discovery of a traumatized and wounded Italian boy (a performance right out of Rossellini by newcomer Matteo Sciabordi). Train's growing friendship with the boy complicates an entanglement with a band of Italian rebel fighters. The cast is phenomenal, anchored by the four actors who portray the soldiers and expanding to include a wealth of American and Italian talents who bring flesh-and-blood texture to a period long since departed. Adapted from the acclaimed novel by James McBride, Miracle at St. Anna is a rare work of historical fiction that explores the pain, struggle and violence of an era while also offering a surprising story about compassion, bravery and something even more miraculous.

Cameron Bailey

Spike Lee was born in Atlanta and raised in Brooklyn. He studied filmmaking at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. His debut feature, She's Gotta Have It (86), won the Prix de la Jeunesse at the 1986 Cannes Film Festival and set him on the leading edge of the American cinema's Black New Wave. He has directed many acclaimed films since, including School Daze (88), Do the Right Thing (89), Mo' Better Blues (90), Jungle Fever (91), Malcolm X (92), Clockers (95), Summer of Sam (99), She Hate Me (04), Sucker Free City (04), Inside Man (06), When the Levees Broke (06) and Miracle at St. Anna (08).

Cadillac People's Choice Award