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Klüver, Henning

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Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany | 06/10/2008

Italy must come to terms with its past

Spike Lee's film "Miracle at St. Anna", based on the novel by James McBride, deals with a massacre by the SS of around 560 people in a village in Tuscany during the summer of 1944. The massacre is shown as a German retaliation committed in the hunt for a group of partisan fighters. The Süddeutsche Zeitung writes that the major debate sparked off by the film shows that the country has much work to do in facing up to its past: "Historical conflicts that were never dealt with in the post-war period are being rekindled by fresh recollections of the War. ... If you follow what's being said in Italy today you sometimes get the impression that the civil war of those days is being waged on cultural ground today. ... That a politically harmless fiction film like Spike Lee's can spark such a ferocious cultural and historical debate shows that the domestic peace in Italy is not to be trusted."

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