18 April 2006

9/11 Film . . . Too Soon?

I was sitting in the theater excited about my favorite part of the movie-going experience: previews of upcoming features. My mood shifted dramatically when I saw the screen previewing an airplane, terrorists and innocent passengers terrified and calling home until they decide to join forces and rebel against the terrorists.

I thought I might upchuck my popcorn.

I was hoping it wouldn't happen for at least 10 years. If it did happen, I was hoping it would be a documentary and not a feature film. But it's happening, thanks to Universal Studios and director Paul Greengrass (Bourne Supremacy). The film United 93, the story of the infamous flight that crashed in Pennsylvania because of the courage of the passengers, is being released April 28.

I am not going to see it.

I admire that the filmmakers contacted family membesr of every passenger and crew member on-board the flight. I think it's amazing that every family cooperated and supports the film. For this reason, I cannot completely knock the film. I see the preview and think, "It's too soon! The wounds are too fresh! Five years haven't even passed!" I heard a mother of one of the passengers aboard the plane say on the Today show this morning, though, that she lives with Sept. 11 every day of her life. It's always going to be too soon, so she just decided to cooperate and make sure the filmmakers told the most accurate story of bravery.

The filmmakers, however, failed to reflect on the reality of 9/11. People who lost family members in the WTC, Pentagon and United 93 crashes are definitely victims of the attacks. In addition, all United States citizens are victims of the attack. Because of the attacks, our nation's leadership declared a war. Just yesterday a soldier was buried in Nashville. We are still suffering daily because of the attacks. The family members of United 93 are not the only ones who have fresh wounds. Our nation is still wounded and covered in controversy as a result of events that happened on 9/11/01 and the years following it. It is not the time for Hollywood to make a buck to dramatize a story that we all know well and will never forget.

This movie is not a memorial. Only 10% of the proceeds from only the first 3 days of the film's opening will actually go towards the Flight 93 memorial being built in Shanksville, Penn. This movie is inappropriate and poor timing. The timing may never be perfect as long as those of us alive on 9/11/01 are still breathing. But at least give us time to get out of this war and to really be able to honor people without the hurt, disgust and controversy being far too fresh.


Mary said...

Wow, I don't even know what to say about this. It really surprises me too. It is amazing how this country can turn anything into a money maker, usually in the form of entertainment. I felt that way about "The Passion of the Christ" Not the movie itself, it was apparently really amazing. BUT, the way the Christian Marketing industry made so much off of 'passion' necklaces, bookmarks, whatever.

I know it will never be a perfect time for a movie like this, but it just seems like our society is getting more and more impatient with "history." Something happens and within a year it is a made for TV movie! I just feel like SO much is going on in our world right now that won't really be able to be analyzed objectively for another 50 years at least. It is important to commemerate history. Movies about the holocaust keep it fresh in our minds and help to keep the bad history from repeating itself. (maybe we need more movies about vietnam because we seem to be repeating that niceley) BUT, this is way too soon and that national tragedy should NOT be used for a profit.

see-through faith said...

I was at the cinema on Easter Monday. They showed the trailer - my two friends and I (none of us American) were HORRIFIED that this is coming.

It's way too soon, and while it's good it's about that flight - and their heroism - I won't go to see it. Sept 11th is too raw a memory for many of us -even here in Europe

Ciona said...

Exactly! Thanks for reminding me that the wounds are still fresh for people all over the world--not just the U.S. It was such a horrific tragedy we all experienced.

My sister and I are encouraging boycotts of the film (with a letter to our local theaters or Universal Studios maybe). Join us!

jonathan said...

There is a look inside the making of United93 with director Paul Greengrass that kinda talks about the issues you are concerned with here...


take a look, what do you think?

Scooter said...

It just seems so wrong to make money off of people who were murdered. This is why I HATE Hollywood. And to add to what Mary was saying about the Passion--I really believe that there is only a slight difference between Hollywood and the Christian entertainment industries. It's all about money. Too much "faith in the bank, and money in our hearts."

John said...

I don't think that the wounds are too raw. They aren't raw enough. Far too many Americans don't realize that we are in a clash of civilizations. They live in a bubble where everything would be dandy if only BusHitler were out of the way and the only real threat to America is the Patriot Act. We need films like this one to jerk the ostrich heads out of their holes.

White Riot said...

I Can't believe that Hollywood has the guts to actually making money out of the twin tower attacks. I've heard that the money fromt eh film will go to a charity for the survivors and the families of the victims, yet they wont happen without Nicolas Cage, Oliver Stone and co getting a huge amount for creating the film. I think this is appauling and all this publicity surrounding the attacks is pretty much making terrorists into movie stars.