Spike Lee says Italians aren't facing up to their real WWII history? Is he correct?

That’s the claim being made in this articlere his new film. Does Spike Lee have a point?

That’s news to me. It’s possible the Italians glorify the partisans as a way of diverting attention from the embarrassing extent of their collaboration with the Nazis, as the French have IMHO been wont to do over the years.

But this is Spike Lee, not always Mr. Tactful.

The film, which highlights the role of African-American soldiers in the war, suggests that antiFascist partisans indirectly caused the atrocity by taking refuge in the village and then abandoning the residents to their fate.

I am not sure what a few poorly equipped partisans could have done against 4 companies of highly trained german troops anyway, so I think “abandoning” seems rather strong - tactical retreat seems better. Even if true, it no way excuses the German response. I am not quite sure what the fuss is about - is any one implying the partisans shouldnt have fought, or hidden?

I’m not surprised: these partisans were the guys whose idea of a war crimes tribunal was to shoot Mussolini, strip him naked, and hang him upside down outside a gas station. They weren’t exactly nice guys. (Don’t take this as a statement that the Nazis were nice, either, obviously.)

Vox Imperatoris

To be fair, there really wasn’t a lot of nice left to go around in Europe in '44.

Technically, I can’t prove Spike Lee is bitter and gets a kick out creating tensions, but realistically…

…he could do a much better job of smoothing things over.

What a numbnut.
Quoting:* "He told Italians there was ‘a lot about your history you have yet to come to grips with. This film is our interpretation, and I stand behind it.’*

Boy is this rich with irony. Ya know, Spike, a few hundred black people do horrible things every day, and I am asked not to associate the acts of a few with the group of millions. But a few hundred Italians do something over six decades ago and the whole country ‘has to come to grips with it’…?


It’s not his job to smooth things over. He’s not a diplomat.

By acknowledging that stuff like this actually happened and not shitting a brick when it’s depicted in a film? Yeah, why not?

Why should the world have to go along with the myth that no [insert your pet hero here] ever committed any morally ambiguous act that might have resulted in unpleasant consequences?

Perhaps the Italians resent being lectured about their history by a guy who knows no more about it than the time he spent making his movie?

Well, I don’t want to judge the way Italians deal with their terrible and embarrassing past. But I am pretty sure that we wouldn’t see the granddaughter of Adolf Hitler joining a far-right party in Germany and getting elected. Things are different in Italy.

Right…we should hold grandchildren accountable for the actions of their grandparents? :dubious:

How do you know how much time Spike Lee has spent studying the issue? And whatever length of time it is, how do you know it’s not enough?

If the Italians don’t want to listen to him, nobody’s forcing them. They’re the ones whining about a movie. People should make movies about whatever they want. They don’t need a license from people who “own” the history.

Yeah, Lee just gets things wrong a lot. For example, the word is that “Lee’s movie is a response to Clint Eastwood’s all-white “Flags of Our Fathers””. Except that none of the six dudes who raised the flag were black, and one was a Akimel O’odham, or Pima Amerind, who is definately not “white”. And the film did make clear mention of the racial attitudes about this.

Spike Lee is a filmmaker secondarily. His true calling is just to shitstir.

When I wrote the ‘I don’t want to judge’ part that you quoted, I meant just that :rolleyes:.

I agree. People should make movies about whatever they want. On the other hand, if I wanted to make a movie about Rhodesia and about how hard the Rhodesians fought to hold onto their country which had the highest standard of living in sub-Saharan Africa and how as soon as it collapsed, the country turned into a third-world nightmare hellhole of violence, corruption and starvation, do you think I would ever be able to make such a movie? I don’t think it would have a snowman’s chance in hell of ever getting made. But Spike Lee has been making his movies for decades and despite all the complaining, he keeps on getting them produced.

Wow, she’s a babe! If you google her you’ll find lots of NSFW pics.

Is he correct in that the Italians tend to gloss over things much more than the Germans do? Yes.

Is the film historically accurate? Probably not.

Does it provide a fair and balanced analysis of the massacre? Of course not. It’s not a documentary, it’s historical fiction.

Anyway, to the Italians who are pissy about this, I say the same thing I said to the British servicemen who were pissed about U-571, or the Catholics who were pissed about The Da Vinci Code - make your own movie.

Notably, this is exactly what Spike Lee is doing. He complained about Hollywood’s neglect of the role of black soldiers in World War II and then made this movie.

Sure he has the right to make movies, just as Italians have the right to tell him he’s talking out of his ass.

And how do I know Lee didn’t spend enough time studying it? His dumb statements on the subject gave me my first big clue. The rest was just inspired guesswork.

I for one think it’s a good idea to have more movies that display the complicated history of WWII, not just a good vs. evil with a sad but inspirational ending.

It helps us remember that this is real shit that happened. And that we all really gotta watch out for this stuff in real life. And that shit hit the fan because everyday normal people began making evil choices- not because some random bad force sprung up and then was destroyed by the good.

We can’t let WWII become a fairy tale.

Assuming this all isn’t just completely made up out of nowhere, what is wrong with portraying it? Whats wrong with admitting that complicated people in a complicated war might have made complicated decisions? Or did I miss the memo that all heroic groups have to be portrayed as perfect heroes in every piece of media?

And, um, is there any country in the world that has done a perfect job of facing up to their history? Is that really that insulting of a statement?