More Than Just a Movie

From Ace of Spades HQ, an anonymous film review of United 93, just released yesterday:

I just got back from United 93. I went alone, following my plan to the letter.

My plan was to have 2 drinks before the showing as a bracer for what was to come. I had 4. (Crown Royal if it matters.)

I knew what was coming. I know how the movie ends. It’s not enough.

45 minutes in, after everyone on screen knows it’s a high jack, my jaw clenched.

50 minutes in, jaw still clenched, I start to mutter “MFer’s, those MF’ers” under my breath.

60 minutes in, I start to tear up, along with the clenched jaw and MFer’s under my breath.

70 minutes to the end the movie, I am sobbing. Not tearing up…sobbing. Not uncontrollably, just clenched jaw, MFing, sobbing.

You need to be ready for this movie. You need to see this movie.

It would suprise me not at all to have exactly the same reaction.

I feel driven to see it. It isn’t just a “movie”, something to watch and be entertained by for two hours, forgotten within days or weeks.

It is, for me, a necessary sharing of cultural pride in the heroism of common Americans, who endured their own little 9/11 on a smaller scale, and then accepted their own fate, and gathered together their own resolve to go down fighting. They did what needed doing in a valiant attempt to save others unkown, with no concern for their own safety.

It is, for me, a necessary re-telling of just a small part of a day that lives in infamy in our history, and should be remembered as such. How is it that we have so soon forgotten that there are people who want us dead, and will stop at nothing, including flying airplanes containing kids and old folks into tall buildings? They’re still out there. Are we any safer today? Where is the national seriousness of purpose? If those 3,000 dead came back today, would they be happy with our reaction to the horror that they lived through, and with what we are doing in their wake, to prevent further tragedy?

And finally, it is, for me, a necessary tribute to all of those who died not just on that flight, but also in the flames and dust of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Their stories are, shamefully, not being carried forward into our shared cultural identity by those whose job it is do such things. They’ve been stamped, filed, and archived. This is a national and cultural embarrassment.

You should really click through that link, and read the comments to the post as well.

My wife and I are going to see it this weekend. It’s the absolute least we can do to honor the memory of those who died too soon.

And the act of honoring them has nothing to do with Iraq, President Bush, Afghanistan, Democrats, Republicans, Joe Wilson, the NSA, Abu Ghraib, Gitmo, sixteen words from the State of the Union, or any of the other faux issues that have grown up like so many weeds around something that truly matters in our history.