May 07, 2006

United 93 Displays Day's Uncertainty Well

It's been a while since I've made it out to the theater to catch a film, so when the opportunity arose this evening, I took it, catching "United 93", the first wide-distribution film to hit theaters specifically covering one of the 9/11 incidents (Fahrenheit 9/11 excepted). While I didn't expect to be entertained by the film, I wasn't quite sure what to expect - whether it would be reverential and solemn, or overly patriotic. Instead, we were shown the director's very likely accurate view of the chaos and confusion of the day, when agencies had to face fears never fully anticipated or planned for, and mucked up the process further with failing attempts to communicate, and reactions based on partial and often inaccurate information.

Everybody in our generation has their September 11th stories - just as the generation before us can tell us their memory of when John F. Kennedy was assassinated, or the Moon landing. I'll save mine for a later post, maybe on the date's five year anniversary, but sitting through United 93 and seeing the military, air traffic control and others confront surprise after surprise and horror after horror set processes in my head forward, reminding me of how I had learned of the day's incidents, how I had strained to learn as much as I could, how I had reacted to each new piece, and interacted with others - looking back on it and seeing if I had "done the right thing".

Additionally, now that I've greatly expanded my own flight travel schedule in the years following 2001, I felt aligned with the passengers on the flight who had to face the reality that this trip would be their last. I had quite similar feelings when I actually read the 9/11 commission's report while traveling from New York to San Francisco last year. Reading their report while in flight didn't set my mind at ease about my surroundings at all, nor did it instill any level of confidence in our haphazard government and corrupt, foolish, leadership that expanded the crises of 9/11 into the struggles we face on an international scale today.

If you're of an analytic state of mind to see the 9/11 attacks from a different perspective, without partisan rhetoric and gamesmanship, this film is highly recommended. Go see it before you have to wait for Netflix to come through.

Listening to ''60 Miles an Hour'', by New Order (Play Count: 4)

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