Thursday, April 27, 2006

Too Soon?

-As United 93 premieres at New York's Tribeca Film Festival, I'm struggling with whether to see it when it comes to local theaters. For me, the events of 9/11/01 are still a bit too fresh in my mind to be terribly excited about running out and buying a ticket. We all remember the feelings of vulnerability and deep sorrow of that day. There's still that pain down deep in most of us that has yet to totally subside. Maybe it never will.

They say, including family members of those on board the doomed plane, that the film is a dignified presentation and certainly worthy of the heroes who re-took, or at least tried, the plane from the hijackers. But, knowing the outcome, I'm still a little squeamish about wanting to see it. It's sort of like going to a football game knowing that your team is going to play the best game of all time, but still lose.

British Director Paul Greengrass calls the documentary-style film a "believable truth" about what might have happened that day on the plane. It apparently tries to re-create (with as much accuracy as possible with the limited amount of actual facts available) the on-board drama that played out from the time air traffic controllers knew there was a hijacking, to the time the passengers stormed the cockpit to seize control back from the villains.

Would you feel guilty going to this movie that will likely be a huge money-maker for Universal Pictures when it's based on a real human tragedy? There are mothers and fathers who lost sons and daughters....wives who lost husbands and vice versa....children who lost parents. Real people with real emotions who lost real loved ones. The company apparently wasn't totally insensitive to that. They are donating 10 percent of the film's profits from opening weekend to fund a permanent memorial. What form that will take, I'm not sure. But, it's a nice gesture.

It will be interesting to see how the public responds to this film. Most of us are probably curious enough to go see it. We all would like to know what happened on the plane. We all would like to think that the people who saved the White House...or whatever other target the terrorists had...were really bona fide heroes. And we, for our own sense of justice, probably need to see that scenario committed to this sort of permanent public presentation.

I'm just wishing they would have waited a little longer.

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