View Full Version : Is it too early for a 911 movie?
04-10-2006, 11:50 AM
A recent news segment caught my attention. It was about a 911 movie that Universal is putting out. Called United 93, it's about the 4th plane, United 93, that never reached it's target.
Below is the website for the movie:
The new segment focused on the fact that many people are upset about this and feel it's too early for a movie. So, I'm curious what you all feel about it. Thoughts?
04-10-2006, 12:01 PM
Too early,and why do we need a movie when we all lived through it?
04-10-2006, 12:26 PM
Too early. I didn't live in one of the major cities attacked, but we were driving home from vacation when it was all happening. I felt very vulnerable being 6 hours from home, and we had to drive somewhat near DC and by a few military bases. I can't even *fathom* what it was like as a New Yorker, or someone from nearby the PA crash or working near the Pentagon.
Seeing replays of the footage on TV, etc. is still too much for me even now. I can't handle it. If I had actually seen those things happen IRL, I'm sure I'd have PTSD.
IMO definitely too early and too painful to make a movie out of it.
04-10-2006, 12:29 PM
Boy, that is a difficult question as this is a very delicate topic with many people. Movies were being made about WWII and the Vietnam Conflict while they were still being fought, so from an industry historical perspective, no it is not too early. But, I am sure that many veterns were upset that their experiences were so quickly being exploited by Hollywood. I do think it is important that even tragic events in our nation's history are recorded for prosterity, and currently the major motion picture is a popular medium for doing so. I just hope that the events are as historically accurate as possible. My DH knew First Officer LeRoy Homer, Jr. when he was a cadet at the Air Force Academy, and DH said he is convinced LeRoy would have put up a fight.
04-10-2006, 12:31 PM
Ugh! It's not just too early but it really should not even be made into a movie. There are several documentaries on the subject. That's real enough. In someways there are people who will read this movie wrong and they will see it as glorifiying terrorist. I rather not give terrorist anymore news time or attention.
04-10-2006, 01:06 PM
ITA with the PP, it's too early, it should NEVER be made, there are some really great and incredibly moving documentaries out there on the subject.
But that being said, I felt that certain fictional movies that came out soon after 911 were inappropriate as well. Does anyone remember that one about NYC being destroyed by some freak ice storm??
I don't know but having to see a vacant spot in the skyline outside my window in REAL life, didn't make me want to run out and watch NYC be destroyed for pretend, iykwim??
04-10-2006, 01:08 PM
My initial reaction is that it's crass and exploitative. Movie studios make movies for profit, and using this story to make dollars just hurts. But I thought one of the PP had a good point, that WW2 movies were being made during and immediately after WW2. Would I consider "Casablanca" exploitative in the same way? And the answer is no, I wouldn't. So what's the difference?
I realized that the Flight 93 movie brings out all the disquiet I have about how our country has reacted to the two major disasters of the decade - 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina, compared to how we coped with WW2. Maybe it's been overly romanticized, but it seems as though the whole country came together after Pearl Harbor, everyone made sacrifices for the war effort. . . everyone was touched by it in a very real way. And after 9/11, we had a telethon, and I gave the Red Cross some money, and you can buy all sorts of hideous commerative tchotchkes via mail order - and that's it. Flying is a pain in the &^$&* and a couple thousand families have made the ultimate sacrifice. And the country continues to bicker and squabble and fight.
So I wouldn't have minded "Casablanca" coming out because it told a story of love and loss and sacrifice and honor that resonated with the sacrifices people all over the country were making. That would bring the country together, and if it also made a profit for the studios, that's okay too. But I feel as though the Flight 93 movie is going to be an exercise in sentimentality, like the hoo-hah over Princess Di's funeral, and allow us to indulge in sompe cathartic weeping and then get back to our Cheetos and "American Idol." And using that story for those means makes me profoundly sad.
04-10-2006, 03:40 PM
No, I feel that 5 years (almost) is enough time to be respectful.
As long as the movie handles the subject with dignity towards the real deceased and their families, I think it's actually a nice rememberance to those who lost their lives so tragically.
The managing partner of our firm sat next to a mother of a United 93 victim last week. She was flying to visit the actress who plays her daughter in the movie. From what he told of their conversation, she showed no concern regarding the movie's production.
Lastly, I think it is a good thing to remember the tragedy of 9/11 and not let it slip from our memory too soon.
04-10-2006, 03:47 PM
Such an interesting question.
I think my issue with this movie is that it is mostly fictional since non of the passengers survived. I have no problems with the documentaries of 9/11 because most of them are done with the help of "eye witnesses". I don't feel like it is too early for us to be seeing news clips and eye witness accounts from that day. As a matter of fact, I sometimes wish more things were done about 9/11 because my biggest fear is that we (generalized we) may forget all of the human tragedy. I know that we will NEVER forget the loss of lives, but there are so many other human tragedies that happened that day, burn victims, people who witnessed the tragedy and are still today traumatized that I feel there are so many stories to tell about that day.
I probably won't see the movie, but I do watch most of the documentaries that I can. One thing that some friends and I were talking about is seeing a documentary with the news casts from that day. Watching history unfold LIVE. I was in the South Tower on 9/11 and was on about the 25th floor when the plane hit our building. We didn't get to see the news until well after mid-day and was not even sure what happened until then. I really want to see the news coverage from that day. I know it sounds crazy, but to me that is like watching history in the making. My friends and I are actually talking about documenting our story from that day. Not to be sold, but just so WE never forget what happened. It is something that I NEVER want to forget and wish NEVER happened
04-10-2006, 05:03 PM
Well I have ZILCH interest in such a movie but I reckon that the real test of if it is too early is if people will see it. My take on the matter is that it really is for no one to say what is and is not appropriate for movie plots but that we all get to vote with our dollars. We can see or not see such a movie as we see fit. I don't know what too early means honestly- on the other hand I don't know if a lot of historical dramas are really worth the time it takes to watch them. Seriously, the darn thing would not be made if the producers did not see a chance for a market for it.
04-10-2006, 05:04 PM
Jeannine, I am so sorry for what you went through. I completely agree with what you said. I will also probably not see any fictional movies about it either. I do watch documentaries, though, with a heavy heart.
I grew up in Hoboken, NJ and my BIL, his brother and his brother's wife were all in the WTC that day. Only my BIL survived. We also lost a good friend (someone I called a cousin and grew up with, but wasn't actually related to me) who worked for Cantor Fitzgerald. It is painful for me to see that hole in the skyline now.
I agree it's too early and the war/movie analogy isn't accurate. It's as if a Pearl Harbor movie had been done within a few months. This was the incident that incited the war, not the war itself that we're talking about. Also I'm not a fan of the glossy package that hollywood likes to deliver to make the celluloid world appear real so I do prefer documentaries.
Ian - born 10/03
Ryan - born 01/06
I don't think that movies like these should ever be made. (ETA, unless it is many years later, and made for a historical view, i.e. Pearl Harbor). I agree that they are very exploitive. I have been seeing several made-for-TV movies about this already, and I just think they're really, really tacky.
When 9/11 happened, we lived on the West Coast, and while we were horribly sad and upset by everything, we still felt kind of "removed" from the incidents. Now living so very, very close to where a lot of the events occured, I can't imagine how terrifing it must have been. Why must we make everyone affected by it relive the events over and over again? :(
Mama to Luke
04-10-2006, 06:18 PM
I was living in Hoboken when it happened. In fact, I watched in horror as the second tower fell. For weeks, you couldn't open your windows or walk outside without smelling acrid smoke. I agree that the skyline will NEVER look the same - regardless of what is rebuilt.
Hoboken had the hightest death rate per capita (after NYC) due to all the commuters. I think it was somewhere around 45 people. In fact, I know that one uptown block on Bloomfield St. lost five or six people.
To answer the OP, I think that it's probably pretty sensationalised and unnecessary. I'm not sure what can possibly be gleaned from secondhand information. I think that the money spent on the movie could have probably be better utilised to put scholarships in place for the hundreds the children that lost parents on that God awful day.
04-10-2006, 06:55 PM
marisa - I was in hoboken too (way uptown on park). that town was so sad.
04-10-2006, 07:53 PM
Marisa - My mom still lives there and my sister (not the one whose husband worked at the WTC) had just dropped her kids off at school and headed to work at the site of the old Maxwell House factory and she actually watched the second plane from the dock as it turned around and hit the building. She got right back in her car and picked up the boys from school and stayed at my mom's all day waiting for word on my other sister's husband. They didn't hear from him till after 4pm and he was in Staten Island.
I'm pretty that block of Bloomfield St to which you referred is the one my best friend lives on (in her parents former home). It was my second home growing up and I lived around the corner. I know that one of her neighbors had just had a baby and her husband went in to the office for a few hours to catch up and never made it home. I was 2500 miles away and it was painful to not be there for my family. The smell was still pretty awful even a month later when we were able to come home to see my family.
I think that your scholarship idea is a fabulous one!
04-10-2006, 11:30 PM
I agree with what was expressed by the majority of the posters; way too early for me and really, what is the point? I've seen many documentaries that have respectfully reported the events (seen them on tv & in museums in NYC). This, on the other hand, feels sensationalistic and opportunistic (technically, it's a fictional account). I actually saw the preview for the film (in a movie theater in Long Island, NY) and you could hear a pin drop while they were screening it. There was definitely an air of uneasiness in the place. The preview made me feel very uncomfortable. I don't need to see the movie, we unfortunately lived it like many others. Honestly, I believe it comes down to $$. That's what the movie industry is all about. And, in some ways, that's what this tragedy has sadly turned into. JMHO.
04-10-2006, 11:35 PM
Bloomfield between 11/12th, right?
I lived on Garden between 1st and Newark, but was working on 13th between Park and Garden. It took me over 90 minutes to get home because of the traffic. I drove down River Street and that's when I got stuck in traffic. I walked over to the river, and that's when I saw the second building fall. I still remember the screams...
Such a horrible, horrible time.
Let me know if you ever find yourself heading to Hoboken for a visit! ;)
04-10-2006, 11:36 PM
Small world, Eileen.
Yes, I remember, though, how we all pulled together. Remember everbody putting candles out on their front steps and doorways? It's something that I will never forget.
04-11-2006, 12:16 AM
Why don't they make a movie about all the first responders who have died this past year due to mysterious respiratory illness that developed after 9/11, without salaries,health benefits, or acknowledgment by either the media or the high and mighty FDNY?
Timmy Keller, Felix Hernandez, and Deborah Reeve to name a few.
That would be a new story that people SHOULD hear.
FWIW, I will never, ever watch a movie about 9/11. I don't need to see a dramatic account. I will never forget 9/11 and remember all too well the stories of those lost.
04-11-2006, 07:32 AM
Actually there was a movie made about Pearl Harbor in 1942. http://imdb.com/title/tt0035249/ Hollywood is about $$$, and they will do almost anything for it. Sad, very, very sad.
04-11-2006, 08:12 AM
First, we rarely, if ever, watch movies about relatively recent disasters/news events, etc. because we find them cheesy. Hopefully, this won't be the case but it will probably will be.
Is it too soon? I don't know. I think it depends who the audience is. I live in NJ which had about 700 people die that day and countless other people who lived through it or saw the attacks firsthand. Infact, our small town lost 16 people including one of our neighbors. Our town was devastated.
My husband was definitely one of the lucky ones that day. He had started a company and it's office was on the 83rd floor of the first tower that was hit. There were about 15 people in the office at the time and only through lots of luck did they all make it out alive. But that day was awful; I hadn't heard from my husband nor my brother who worked in the office as well (but he was on jury duty that day which I did not know) nor the other co-workers (we knew alot of these people for years, they came to our wedding, etc.) For hours, I thought my husband, brother and friends were dead. What my husband and his co-workers went through is unthinkable (one actually climbed over dead body parts to get out). Understandably so, my husband and I were very traumatized by the event, not sleeping, not eating, etc.
I don't think people like us will ever see the movie, no matter how much time goes by. The memory will be with us forever unfortunately.
04-11-2006, 08:22 AM
You make some interesting points. "Casablanca" wasn't offensive because it wasn't about Pearl Harbor. I'm sure "Tora Tora Tora" probably invoked a few more emotions since Pearl Harbor was a recent event when it came out. "Snow Falling on Cedars" probably never would have gotten through the front door since it told of the harassment Japanese Americans dealt with during that time. (Even in the '80s, my grandpa refused to buy a Japanese car because of "what they did to our boys in WWII." He'd roll over in his grave if he knew that I drive a Subaru.)
On the other hand, why are we offended by this new movie if we weren't so offended by Michael Moore's take, "Fahrenheit 9/11"? I'd actually be interested to know if anyone who said they'd be offended by this "United 93" movie wasn't offended by "Fahrenheit 9/11" and why. Is there a catharsis effect when you blame an accessible, unpopular president rather than an evasive, unpopular terrorist even if the logic is faulty?
Why do TV shows that feature terrorism, such as "24", not bother us?
I'm not sure what to think of this new movie. I'm sure it would provoke emotion, both to those who have seen it and those who refuse to. The jury's still out in my mind.
(Honestly, I'm not trying to be insensitive by asking these questions. I just think that intelligent people should be able to discuss these things.)
I'm not a MM fan and didn't see f9/11. I'm actually a conservative and still don't think the movie is appropriate.
Ian - born 10/03
Ryan - born 01/06
04-11-2006, 09:14 AM
I have no idea whether it's "too early" or not but I have no interest in seeing it and can't imagine I ever would.
Two of my college girlfreinds died on 9/11, one in the towers and one on the United flight that hit the towers. I also spent hours that morning trying to connect with my father who often ate breakfast at Windows on the World with clients.
I appreciate the heroism of those aboard United 93. I don't take issue with someone making the film and if it has the support of the Flight 93 families then that's all the better but I couldn't possibly watch it. Way too painful.
04-11-2006, 09:22 AM
I, personally, do not like to watch shows like "24". It has absolutely no interest for me as the subject matter does bother me. Yes, "24" is a reflection of the world we live in, but there is enough intrigue, crime, and terrorism in the world already that, IMO, we do not need to see it re-packaged as *entertainment*. For this reason, I have no desire to see United 93.
Something that has been in the back of my mind- if United 93 was being released as a novel (historical fiction), would we be asking this same question? Is a written fictional account less offensive than a motion picture? Is it the subject matter, or the medium in which it is presented?
Take into consideration these titles-
04-11-2006, 09:49 AM
That so many BBB members were affected first hand by this event. I am just simply astounded. I get chills when reading all your posts. And I hope my OP did not bring up painful memories for you.
But like others have expressed, I feel like Hollywood is just trying to profit from this horrific event.
04-11-2006, 09:53 AM
I saw the "amended" preview last week in the theater (apparently the studio had put out a normal trailer, had audiences horrified and changed it to more of a documentary trailer).
The initial images are so hard to watch - people just running to catch a plane and get to their destination. But then they cut to some family members of the victims, and made you remember it's about a real story and that they are trying to depict events as they happened. They kept switching between family members and clips of the movie. And the family members they interviewed kept saying how they wanted this film to be made so people would realize how heroic many of those travelers were. Because so many people called loved ones on the ground they actually pulled from that to recreate the event.
The entire theater was in silence - I think we were all struck by how horrifying it must have been for those people. And while I don't think I will be able to watch it as I lived through 9/11 and had family members barely make it out of the Twin Towers alive, I can understand why the families wanted this story told.
There are 3 movies about 9/11 coming out this summer (in addition to all the ones that have already released). I think because it changed us as a nation it's a story that will be told repeatedly.
I found this quote to be interesting:
"One victim's widow said she was surprised that the trailer had disturbed some moviegoers. "I did not anticipate the general reaction that I'm seeing," said Sandra Felt, whose husband, Edward, a software engineer, was on United 93. "But I think of it as a good thing; it creates awareness about terrorism."
Mrs. Felt said people who were upset by the trailer should avoid the movie. But she added: "9/11 is a fact. It happened. Running away from the movie isn't going to resolve underlying factors of why we're upset by it.""
Mom to Alia born 5/16/02 and Kira born 7/30/05
04-11-2006, 10:14 AM
I'm a conservative as well. I didn't see the movie, but I have liberal family members who did and bought into the conspiracy theories (while I bit my tongue in interest of diplomacy).
04-11-2006, 10:18 AM
I think our culture is more visually-oriented nowdays. More people watch TV and movies than read books, unfortunately.
I personally like "24" because of the suspence, but that's the only violent show I'll watch. I'm not offended by it since the setting (L.A.) is on the opposite coast from the 9/11 attacks.
04-11-2006, 10:25 AM
I saw "Farenheit 9/11" and wasn't offended. It's an interesting comparison. Here's why they feel different to me.
Farenheit was quite clearly a piece of political agitprop. Michael Moore wanted Bush to lose the election. And the response of our government to 9/11 is a legitimate topic in the politcal arena. I was a little uncomfortable with the use of footage from 9/11/01, but no more so than with Bush's photo-ops at Ground Zero. No political party can claim those images are sacrosanct when they use them for their own purposes.
Flight 93 MIGHT be a respectful memorial, it MIGHT be a tribute to those heroes. I have no problem with that. But here we are, five years later from 9/11. Bin Laden is still alive and free. We're bogged down in a quagmire in Iraq that was started as a response to 9/11. One great fear after 9/11 is that the next attack would take out a major US city. And we've lost New Orleans, in part because our National Guard was too overextended in Iraq to mount an effective emergency response.
So if we're all going to go watch "Flight 93" and weep and leave teddy bears in a field in Philadelphia and have a cathartic emotional experience, well, I have a problem with a movie studio making money off of that. I just don't like the idea of millions of people indulging in sentiment without any further action. I SPECIFICALLY exclude people, including the ones who've posted so eloquently here, that were directly affected by the events that day. If your loved one died on Flight 93, I can well imagine that you want to see their heroism depicted for the whole world to see. I just worry that it becomes one more commercialized moment, created for consumption, and then we all file out of the theater, wipe our eyes, and stop in to check out what's for sale at the Gap. It's a fundamental problem with our culture and I don't like 9/11 being brought into that.
04-11-2006, 10:33 AM
That is an excellent point that I forgot to add in my original post. It is so true and will only be more evident as time passes. To state that the air quality was safe post 9/11 was a total joke and blatant lie. I know of several people who volunteered in different capacities during the aftermath and are now contending with serious health problems. Although I obviously feel for the victims of that doomed flight, I also believe that the attention should be shifted to what is occurrring at the moment. People are still suffering physically and emotionally, without any financial suppport.
Highlighting this aspect would be more relevant, IMO. I don't think it will ever get the attention it deserves, since it's waaayy too political.
04-11-2006, 10:38 AM
Bravo, Katie. That was beautifully stated and I wholeheartedly agree.
04-11-2006, 11:00 AM
ITA, I doubt anyone was confused about what the Michael Moore documentary was. I think people *are* confused by the subsequent pimping of 9/11. Hollywood is just getting into the action. Can you blame them, there's money to be made, if elections can be won.(insert sarcastic smiley here)
I personally have ZERO problem with controversial/shocking/etc. movies, I actually seek them out. But because I am tired of the aforementioned exploitation, and because I doubt this is an astounding piece of cinematography, I won't be watching this.
04-11-2006, 11:04 AM
Katie, I appreciate your input.
I find it interesting that you're not as offended by political gain as by monetary gain.
04-11-2006, 11:38 AM
Wonderfully stated. You eloquently put into words what I was thinking but couldn't express. As an aside, several days after 9/11 I met my husband at work (in Union Square). We were both shocked and pretty disgusted with the peddlers selling flags, bandanas, & pictures of the WTC, along with the people purchasing and wearing the items. I just don't understand or see the purpose in that. So, if 5 days wasn't too early to exploit the tragedy, then I guess 5 years isn't.
04-11-2006, 03:41 PM
Marisa - I was close, she lives between 12th and 13th. I get chills just thinking about you watching it happen. It was awful enough to see it on TV.
We were just in Hoboken for Thanksgiving, but I will let you know when we return, it would be fun to have a get together!
04-11-2006, 04:45 PM
I feel both ways on this actually.
One one hand I feel that the sensationalization of Hollywood is out of control. Heck next thing we know there will be an English Patient (which I hated) style movie about Osama hiding in the mountains of Afghanistan.
On the other hand I feel that it is a good reminder to people who are forgetting. The majority of americans *probably* don't think about 9/11 on a daily basis. I don't. I should but, not as a constant thought, but as a remnder that there is a threat out there and I should be mindful of my family and my own activities and safety. The everyday routine of life has me focused on other things. Not that I shouldn't be focused on my own life, it is just people like me sometimes need a reminder of what happened.
That said I don't go to the movies anymore. Some things have to go when you are broke. ;)
Maddy born 6/9/04
Jarred born 3/8/06
Co-Owner Ribbit Baby
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