The only miracle that surrounds Spike Lee’s new ineptly made, self indulgent film The Miracle at St. Anna is that it got made in the first place. I remember reading articles in which Spike Lee was whining about not being able to make the movies he wants, even after his hit Inside Man. Mr. Lee, with all do respect, there’s a reason why you almost couldn’t get this movie made…because it’s hardly a movie at all. When I say “movie” I mean a length of time in which a story with either a cohesive plot or theme develops resulting in the audience reaching an emotional catharsis. St. Anna contains neither of these and with no emotional involvement is far too long at nearly 3 hours.
You’ll have to forgive me if some details escape my memory, because they aren’t worth looking up… Sometime in the 80′s an African American bank teller kills a random man with a German Luger from WWII. He’s taken to prison where a wet behind the ears newspaper reporter is given the opportunity to question the bank teller about an Itallian artifact (the head of a sculpture) that was found in his closet. The only thing the bank teller is able to say before we go into a stream of flashbacks losing all sense of coherent time and space is, “I know who the sleeping giant is.” In the first 10 minutes we already have four major threads of plotline given to us with supposedly equal emotional importance: the head of a statue, the young reporter, the murder of the man, and the sleeping giant.