Sasha first posted links to the trailer in June, but with the TIFF premiere of Miracle at St. Anna only 10 days away, now’s a good time to resurrect it for a second look — and in high-def to better appreciate Matthew Libatique’s lush and textured cinematography. Also a good time to get familiar with the comprehensive website for TIFF 08. A better layout than last year’s site, easier to navigate to pages dedicated to each of the featured films, with detailed descriptions that already sound like awards plaque inscriptions: The Second World War has been mythologized in countless movies and documentaries, yet the unique experiences of African-American soldiers is still widely unknown. Spike Lee’s epic Miracle at St. Anna returns to that storied conflict, but this time through the eyes of the all-black 92nd Division, known as the Buffalo Soldiers. Many of these men suffered discrimination and abuse in the United States easily equal to the hardships faced by prisoners of war. When they arrived in the chaos of Italy late in the war, they were expected to risk their lives for a country that had failed to recognize them fully as its sons. And still they fought. The film is a gripping exploration of humanity under fire and the great tragedy of war, driven by Train’s discovery of a traumatized and wounded Italian boy (a performance right out of Rossellini by newcomer Matteo Sciabordi). Train’s growing friendship with the boy complicates an entanglement with a band of Italian rebel fighters. The cast is phenomenal, anchored by the four actors who portray the soldiers and expanding to include a wealth of American and Italian talents who bring flesh-and-blood texture to a period long since departed. Adapted from the acclaimed novel by James McBride, Miracle at St. Anna is a rare work of historical fiction that explores the pain, struggle and violence of an era while also offering a surprising story about compassion, bravery and something even more miraculous.