But, Spike being Spike, he wasn't finished yet, and saved his most savage (and accurate!) critique for Mr. Eastwood. Here goes:
"Clint Eastwood made two films about Iwo Jima that ran for more than four hours total and there was not one Negro actor on the screen. If you reporters had any balls you'd ask him why. There's no way I know why he did that -- that was his vision, not mine. But I know it was pointed out to him and that he could have changed it. It's not like he didn't know."
Amen, brother. I really had no time at all beyond the performance of Adam Beach for Clint's "Flags of Our Fathers," but I really liked "Letters from Iwo Jima" quite a bit. That said, Spike is right, and I'm happy someone has the huevos to point it out in such a significant forum.
My father's father (again, if I was a DEM, I'd probably mention he was my 'black' grandfather) already was a policeman here in Santa Monica (mostly did just traffic cop duties before the war), and was sent to the Pacific. Black troops weren't frontline troops, for the most part, which is one reason why Spike Lee's complaints about Flags of Our Fathers was kind of silly. But, my grandfather was at Iwo Jima, to clean up, identify the dead, bury the bodies, and type the notification letters. An unimaginably crappy duty, but according to my father, my grandfather preferred that to the frontline. Better to deal with the dead, then risk being one of them. One reason why I'll never question Truman's decision to drop the A-Bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Japan was prepared to fight a war of attrition to the last man, woman, and child,