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Last Updated: Thursday, 7 June 2007, 14:26 GMT 15:26 UK
Lee film to honour black soldiers
Spike Lee
Lee recently received a Peabody award for excellence in electronic media
Director Spike Lee is to make a film honouring the contribution of black US soldiers during World War II.

Lee, who recently announced he would shoot a follow-up to his documentary about Hurricane Katrina, said their role has been overlooked by film.

He told Italian newspaper La Repubblica that before films depicting the Vietnam war, black servicemen were "invisible".

The picture will be based on James McBride's novel Miracle at St Anna and is due to be filmed in Italy.


"I recently met a black veteran who fought at Iwo Jima and he told me how hurt he was that he could not find a single African-American in Clint Eastwood's two films," Lee said.

He added that despite suffering racial discrimination at home, "black men fought like heroes".

"They behaved like patriots while their brothers were lynched, or at best considered second-class citizens," added the film-maker.

McBride's novel, which is based on a true story, tells the tale of an all-black US army division fighting the Nazi occupation of Tuscany, and a friendship which develops between one of the men and a six-year-old Italian orphan.

Lee, whose other screen credits include Malcolm X and Do The Right Thing, said the film would tell both sides of the story.

"A lot of German soldiers were not faceless evil with no humanity, but simply men fighting on the wrong side - they too were tired, hungry and wanted to go back home," he said.

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