Tuesday, March 20, 2007

United 93

—1. Overview
—2. Cast and Crew
—3. Photo Pages
—4. Trailers, Clips, DVDs, Books, Soundtrack
—5. Posters (Airplanes)

—6. Production Notes (pdf)
—7. Spiritual Connections
—8. Presentation Downloads

United 93
is not a great movie, it's a brilliant movie for a variety of reasons.

There are many who are using this film for political propaganda, and to be honest, that just pisses me off. For those who say it shows a pro war perspective obviously haven’t seen it. It does not praise or justify the war, if anything, it shows how unprepared the United States was for such an attack. It directly comments on the White House's preparation for such an attack, as well as the availability and response from the Pentagon, FAA, President Bush, and Vice President Cheney.

United 93 is more like a docudrama than a theatrical film. I found it ironic that the person selling me the tickets to the movie said, “Enjoy the movie." I knew going in that United 93 was not a movie I was going to enjoy.

I especially appreciated the choices made in filming United 93. Most of the conversation in the movie is documented and adds to the realism of the events on September 11. Not using popular actors made the events more realistic. It was also filmed in real time with 10-15 of the real people behind the scenes during the actual events playing themselves. All of these choices added authenticity to the film.

United 93 is not a pro war movie; nowhere was I moved to the point where I thought, “Yeah, we need to be in Iraq.” It does not present everyone on board United Flight 93 as a hero; some of the passengers are against trying to take the plane back. It does not show all Middle Easterners as terrorists. And the terrorists as depicted are very human: they love their families, are deeply devoted to their spiritual beliefs, and seek to bring about what is right in their own minds.

United 93 shows things the way they occurred based on the knowledge available when making the film. With the number of phone conversations and the tapes from the Air Traffic Control centers of both civilian and military airports, there was more information available than many realized. It is also a movie that the families of those involved wanted released. I left the movie better understanding the situations and events of that day. I had more of an appreciation of those killed and those behind the scenes fighting diligently to save them.

See the movie before you criticize it. No political group should try to capitalize on the events that took place on United 93 or on any other aspect of 9/11. This movie illustrated that point for me. While many did not start out trying to be heroes, they became heroes nonetheless. It doesn’t matter if they weren’t trying to be heroes or were simply trying to save their own lives, their actions were heroic, thus, they were heroes. They weren’t the only heroes of that day, though. Air traffic controllers tried to get control of the situation. People in positions of authority recognized breakdowns in upper levels of the political system and sought to change those systems. Others did the simple things like say a prayer or come to the aid of someone in need.

United 93 reminded me of the diversity of faith, the paths where those faiths conflict, and the hope of resolving some of those paths. I was impressed by the deep faith of all involved, both Christian and Muslim. It made me question what got us to this point and why there are such deep-rooted differences. I asked myself why it is that no matter what faith one may have the same three little words carry such a deep impact. An impact that brings about emotion that runs as deep as an Oak trees roots. Those three little words? "I love you."


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