Wednesday, August 02, 2006
The Rant- Leave 9/11 Movies Alone
THE RANT: LEAVE 9/11 MOVIES ALONE
by Clint Fletcher
On September 11, 2001, our nation suffered the worst terrorist attack ever to take place on U.S. soil. To this day, the event is discussed through our media via news channels, television shows, radio shows, music, and now film. This is a touchy subject to say the least, but it is a subject that we will never be able to escape for years to come. Over the past few months, the newest topic up for discussion has been the 9/11 films, particularly the theatrical flicks- United 93 and the upcoming World Trade Center. Many are protesting these films, saying America is not ready for a 9/11 movie. To these people that are protesting, I’m hear to say SHUT THE FUCK UP AND GO HOME.
When, in the history of film, has a studio picture ever been halted due to a large group of protestors and backlash? Let me enlighten you- its never happened. Sure, there are flicks that have been made and got thrown on the shelf because they couldn’t get past the MPAA or for some type of law suit or what have you, but this is getting out of hand. Do these protestors honestly think that they’re going to stop the release of a multi-million dollar studio picture? HELL NO. You people are wasting your precious time and energy on a lost cause. I sympathize with everyone that lost a friend or relative on that horrible day, I really, really do. But attempting to stop a major motion picture by drastic measures isn’t going to help anyone. And furthermore, in the case of United 93, you’re attempting to stop a picture that is trying to HONOR the memory of your loved ones. Now, of course I understand that many people won’t be able to handle these movies. If you can’t handle these movies then just don’t go. Leave them be. That’s what Americans do- when they see previews for a movie they don’t want to see, they stay home. These two flicks are no exceptions.
I touched upon this topic a bit in my United 93 review a while back, but I would like to go deeper into the subject while I have the chance. Many of you out there believe that the time is not right for a 9/11 movie because the nation is still healing. I’m here to tell you right now- there is no healing to be done. Whether these films are made this Summer or twenty years from now, everyone will be taken back to that day like it was yesterday whenever its brought up. And for those who have lost loved ones in the attack, you know much better than I do that the pain you are feeling will pierce your heart until the day you die. Not to say that time doesn’t help, I’m sure it does. But a majority of the protestors aren’t protesting the films themselves, just the time period they’re being released in. Many argue that Hollywood should wait a few generations to make such pictures, like Saving Private Ryan and Pearl Harbor did. What is the point of this? If filmmakers today have the capability to make such pictures, why would people want them to wait and make it for future generations when they could make it for the generation that is most vulnerable to the subject? They have the means to make them for a generation that experienced this day firsthand, a group of millions that know what it felt like while it was happening. This is what filmmaking is all about. If technology had advanced far enough back in the early 50’s as it has today, you bet your sweet ass Hollywood would’ve cranked out Saving Private Ryan and Pearl Harbor and Schindler’s List. Not to mention the fact that within 5 years of WWII being over, numerous films were made about it. And I’m not even going to count how many Vietnam movies were made WHILE Vietnam was still going on. But since technology had not yet advanced enough, these films of the past just weren’t enough to cause the controversy these 9/11 films have been able to.
Another argument many protestors have is the fact that Hollywood is “cashing in” on 9/11. I completely disagree with this statement. People have to make a living, including filmmakers. Police officers, doctors, firemen, psychologists, etc. are all professionals that chose to help people for a living. Yet these people still have to make a LIVING… they still have to get paid. I’m sure the filmmakers and actors of these movies would love to make the flicks for free if they could, but sadly they cannot. So if Nicolas Cage wants to star in a 9/11 movie and do justice to a human being that was involved while getting a paycheck for it, I see nothing wrong with this. But these protestors are making it hard for all these people. They make them feel guilty when they shouldn’t be feeling guilty for anything. They work their asses off on these movies out of respect for the memories of those lost, and people out there are fucking protesting them??? How would all you painters out there feel if you made a painting of the twin towers on fire and galleries around the nation got into a bidding war for it. In the end you’re cut a nice fat check and you donate some of it to 9/11 charities but you take most of it home so you can EAT. Yet you can’t sleep at night because there’s a group of fucking protestors outside your apartment carrying signs. For everyone that believes in this argument, how about you go talk to the NYC fire and police departments and ask them why they still “paid” their employees while the crisis was still going on and shortly thereafter. People still have to make a living, folks. And I was astonished that many actors/crew members of these films have donated portions of their paycheck to 9/11 charities, yet people are still bitching about how they’re just cashing in on the disaster. Hell, United 93 even donated a large percentage of its profits to these organizations, and people still bitched. Not to mention both of these films have gotten 100% approval from all the family members of individuals in which the stories are based off of. Yet I still hear bitching.
The point of all this is if you don’t like the concept of Hollywood making movies out of the 9/11 events then GET THE FUCK OVER IT. The best you can do is stay at home during the films’ release. There’s no need to start a war here, especially since one is already going on overseas BECAUSE of 9/11. If the real life family members are kind enough to respect the films getting made, then the rest of us don’t have room to talk.