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.