world trade center: not an oliver stone film


just saw world trade center at the cinerama dome – amazing cinema in hollywood that i’d always wanted to visit. this movie is perhaps not the ideal film to be seeing in a place known for its cinematic spectacle, but i was glad to see it nonetheless. was particularly intrigued by the fact that it was made by oliver stone, and wondered what this most political of film-makers would do with it.

what he did: memorialise.

this film is a powerful tribute to the courage shown by many people on 9/11; but deeper than that, it seeks to represent the horror of what happened in the twin towers. for the most part, it is not a political film.

people like me found it difficult to truly engage with the tragedy for at least two reasons – the immediacy of the visuals on tv, and the lack of images of human beings suffering (as with hurricane or tsunami footage) made the event seem almost mechanical; but most damaging of all was the fact that the response of the bush administration forced us to devote our resources to the attempt at restraining further violence rather than lamenting what had happened.

so it is a good thing that a film has been made that seeks to do little more than respect the victims.

lament is important, but it is a lost art.

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6 responses to “world trade center: not an oliver stone film

  1. interesting thoughts. is this a flim that will come out in the UK?

  2. gareth higgins

    yep, it will open in the UK on the 29th september

  3. vincenzo9111

    too true. . . what would humanity look like had we not learned to grieve? I’ve seen a glimpse of this on the faces of friends, on children. Lives spin dizzly, jumping from moment to moment, hoping to escape the thing we all will face. our mortality. I heard it once said that dying is what makes everything worthwhile. I can only imagine the people who suffered loss in this tragic event may be haunted in daylight by revenge, meanwhile suffering the nightmares of loss that may never be consolled.- vinny torres, Ventura, CA, USA

  4. mister tumnus

    and all of that makes it political, i mean truly political, doesn’t it? for another fitting tribute see (listen to) bruce springsteen’s ‘the rising’ although i m reliably informed some of it was written pre-sept 11th.

    ‘There is a blood red circle
    On the cold dark ground
    And the rain is falling down
    The church door’s thrown open
    I can hear the organ’s song
    But the congregation’s gone
    My city of ruins
    My city of ruins’

  5. Mike Morrell

    Hi Gareth,

    I have not seen this film yet but I intend to; your thoughts here are helpful.

    By the way, it was fantastic to meet you at Soliton last week. As I just learned you have a ‘blog, I’m going to have to add you to my site

  6. Yes, perhaps making a film atypical of his style, was the right thing for Oliver Stone to do. To have Hollywoodized it any more would probably have cheapened the story, a story that’s unfinished as the residue of pain, loss, fear and trauma still cling to so many. I’m so glad you offered a different perspective on the the comment about revenge. I had not thought about it that way.
    For me, the most hopeful aspect of the story was the ex-marine’s obedience in going to ground zero and ultimately discovering the two men buried there. Had he not been so faithful would those men have survived or would God have used someone else? When we step out in faith it is as much for the stranger as it is for our own development. That’s what I really got from the story.