United 93: A Must See
There has been some debate as to whether it’s too soon to make a movie about 9/11. After about four and a half years they’re saying the movie should be made, but not now . Perhaps someday in the future. In a modern world we get our instant gratification now, you rarely hear about anything arriving too soon. But this is different. This is painful. There have been several TV documentaries made on the subject. The few I have seen are excellent histories of the events and fitting tributes to the victims and their families.
Until now, the only major big screen release touching on the subject has been Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 911 (2004). Heavily drenched in propaganda, Moore’s film was a hit piece on George Bush with little sensitivity to 9/11 families. Moore’s self-promoting leftist tirades were hardly the right means to better inform the public on such a delicate matter. All the more reason we need a film like United 93.
When United 93. began showing it’s trailer in the theaters, people were shocked. Perhaps this is because images of the 9/11 attacks haven’t run in newspapers for years, Perhaps we will always be a little shocked, when reminded of that day. Pearl Harbor was attacked 60 years ago and time has healed, but the “ Day that will live in infamy” was a conventional military attack upon a military base. 9/11 was much more personal. These were women and children. Brutally murdered by civilian terrorists posing as everyday people among us. Intended to strike fear in all Americans by implementing a war without borders that targets civilians.
This method of “Total War” has been abandoned by Western Civilization for centuries. A strategy for attacking anyone at random, regardless of military significance, hadn’t been used against Americans on American soil on this scale before.
For that reason the chills of 9/11 may never leave our collective spine. And for that reason many will chose to avoid United 93. The film is painful to watch. But just like the Holocaust, we need to remember, not forget. It's also notable that none of the families involved objected to the making of this film.
Knowing the outcome, and seeing the events unfold from Paul Greengrass’ third person directing style. The viewer gets the feeling of being a close observer, constantly peering over the shoulder the passengers, the terrorists, watching and listening in on intense conversations in the Pentagon, airport control towers and the FAA. We lean into whispers of two of the nervous highjackers as they wait for the right moment to strike. We see weeping hysterical passengers call home for the last time. We watch several of the passengers accumulate enough information to realize their fate and develop the resolve to take matters into their own hands. It’s rough ride. United 93’s 90 minutes seem to fly as the tension never lets up, and in fact slowly builds to the halting conclusion.
People know what they’re in for with this movie , and that’s why many of them will stay home. Even writing about it is difficult. But we shouldn’t turn a blind eye to the hero’s of United 93, and that’s why every American should see this film.