War veterans say Spike Lee's WWII film insults memory of 'Italian Resistance'

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London, October 1 : Director Spike Lee's latest movie, 'Miracle at St Anna', has invited the wrath of Italian war veterans who claim that the film is a 'false reconstruction' of their history.

Partisan organisations believe that the film, that retells the story of the massacre of 560 civilians in retaliation to the Italian partisan activity in August 1944, insults the memory of the 'Italian Resistance'.

The partisans uphold the Italian account of the 'Sant'Anna di Stazzema massacre' that it was not a reprisal but an unprovoked act of brutality on behalf of the SS troops where the hunt for partisans was just a pretext.

Following the film that counters the accepted Italian version, the partisan organizations are set to protest at the venue of the film's Italian premiere, Viareggio - close to the site of the massacre.

Lee, whose film is an adaptation of James McBride's novel, has refused to offer an apology to the offended partisans.

"I am not apologising," Times Online quoted the director as saying.

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."

He revealed that the film, which follows the fate of four black GIs, was intended "to restore the voice of black soldiers who fought in the war".

He said that "not all Italians" had admired the partisans, many of whom fled to the mountains and left civilians to face the Nazis.

He also added: "I have not invented anything."

However, Giovanni Cipollini, the deputy head of 'Anpi', the partisans' association, said the film was a 'false reconstruction' and a 'travesty of history'.

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