On September 11, 2001, two American Airlines and two United Airlines domestic U.S. flights are hijacked by terrorists. After the collision of two planes against the World Trade Center and one against the Pentagon, the passengers and crew of United Flight 93 decide to struggle against the four terrorists to take back the control of the airplane. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The Iraqi-born (but London-based) actor Lewis Alsamari, who plays the lead hijacker in the film, was denied a visa by US immigration authorities when he applied to visit New York City to attend the premiere, despite having already been granted asylum in the United Kingdom since the 1990s. The reason given was that he had once been a conscripted member of the Iraqi army - although this was also the grounds for his refugee status after his desertion in 1993. See more »
Only two hijackers Saeed al-Ghamdi and Ahmed al-Nami are seen wearing red bandanas but apparently all four hijackers wore red bandanas when United 93 was hijacked in real life. See more »
I was one of the people who said I wouldn't go see this movie because I felt they were capitalizing on a national tragedy and the trailer gave me nightmares. But, my curiosity got the best of me when I read several positive quotes by numerous critics outside the US. So, I picked up a ticket for the 2:00 show.
There truly are no words to describe the power of this film. The cinematography is excellent, albeit a little unsteady with the shaky lens thing going on. I found that the film very much followed the reports in the 9/11 Commission's book, as well as numerous others. They stuck to the facts and didn't add in any glorified scenes that weren't warranted. You saw the mass confusion as the various air traffic control centers tried to make sense of what was going on. You saw the events on the plane unfold as we think they did that morning. You saw ordinary Americans, scared and frightened, band together and try and keep that plane from hitting another target.
Do we know exactly what was said between people on the planes? No. But there are survivors who had messages from loved ones on their answering machines and people who talked to them that day. The film is a little violent for my tastes, but no more so than any 'Blockbuster' fictional hit out there right now, and this is reality as we know it. Any discrepancies are not for me or you to decide, as those secrets are buried in Pennsylvania.
When it ended, I've never seen a more still theater. You could hear people breathing as they pulled themselves together. This is something that happened to our nation, and while it shouldn't take a movie to make people remember, maybe it does. Maybe we have forgotten or chosen to ignore what happened that day, falling to politics and quick to accuse people who didn't prevent it. Maybe we are against this movie because it makes us uncomfortable, as all meaningful things should. Who knows? Not I.
But, I do know that United 93 was done in a tasteful, respectful manner, and many of the families affected on 9/11 supported its release. Who are we to say otherwise? See the movie and then make your judgment call. You may find yourself surprised, just as I did.
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