Letter to the editor – Hollywood’s ‘United 93’

Andrew Bott and Andrew Bott

Editor, The Channels:

The “United 93” script is almost too Hollywood. The symbolism too obvious. These are the kinds of ideas thrown around a pitch room, but never written. Airplanes are flying high, aiming to crash into the heart of America, the self-proclaimed height of the world.

Terrorists take over the plane with box-cutters and cardboard bombs, easily gaining control of the cockpit.

Passengers and crew crowded in the back, clutching cell phones are warned of the impending doom of the plane and gather together. They decide to lead an attack with a soda cart as a battering ram.

The pilot, our iconic hero of the group, calls his wife to say goodbye and says, “Let’s roll.”

The Terrorists fling and sway the plane, but fail to stop the uprising. They lose control. They crash. The film ends.

Except it’s true. It all happened. And the movie has been made, written and directed by Paul Greengrass, director of “The Bourne Supremacy,” released April 28.

It’s filmed in real time, with a cast of unknowns, and packed with details of the actual events taken from the 9/11 Commission Report.

The previews have been horrifying, yet gripping, alluding to a horror-action B-movie. The titles slowly fade ominously in and out and are followed later by the second airplane about to hit the south tower.

But, “United 93” is a good film considering its pre-release premier on the opening night of the Tribeca Film Festival.

The World Trade Center site is still a gaping hole. And anyone who uses the Port Authority Trans-Hudson train should be familiar with the circular tour it leads, slowly trekking in the depths where the buildings fell.

Still, hundreds of large, rusty bolts stick from the walls. And it seems that when we emerge from the tunnel, cars become more silent. Conversations weaken. We quietly glance from the windows, or look at our papers harder, and remember.

Now, with the coming release of this film, we’re beginning to see the effects of that day, of the subsequent days, when we were lost, and the following years of war.

This film is reminding us why we are truly sad.

 -Andrew Bott

City College Online Student