I think there are movies you don’t have to see in order to hate them. “The Passion of the Christ” is certainly one of them, and from my perspective, “World Trade Center” is another. I only heard about it recently, and at first it seemed like an interesting idea. Then I saw that Oliver Stone was the director, and Michael Shamberg the producer. Uh-oh, and uh-oh. Then I read an article about the project’s history: At some point, two hugely successful female studio executives met on a street in New York, and discussed the script. One says, Oh, we must make this movie! Then, one reports that she cried when she read the script. If you don’t live in Hollywood, you may not know that “I cried!” is the stock response to any script that isn’t a comedy. You HAVE to cry; it shows how sensitive you are. You can then go ahead and pass on the project, after making sure it’s understood that you Cried.
Hollywood shit aside, I don’t want a film about September 11. It strikes me as stupid and ghoulish, and incapable of providing any insight into anything. The use of this event as entertainment of any kind is just preposterous, verging on pornography, in my opinion. But of course, I don’t approve of Holocaust movies either. The notion of actors shaving their heads and running around pretending to be in gas chambers, while people watching them do this eat popcorn, is just outrageous to me. If you need to be “educated” watch a newsreel or “Shoah”. Likewise, the cataclysmic deaths of so many people, on September 11, should not be fodder for entertainment, and certainly not in the form of a schlocky studio film by Oliver Stone.
On September 11, I was awakened by my best friend, who was watching TV. She knew my son worked at the World Trade Center, for a snooty investment company. For the next three hours, I sobbed and tried to call New York. I watched the news on the internet and all I could think about was finding my child. Life could not go on without him, I kept thinking in my panic. Finally, his friend’s mom called to report that my kid was okay. He called later, and told me how he had run for his life, and how his office in the building next to the Twin Towers had been sheared off by fire.
My great sense of relief was soon followed by tremendous guilt. This was pretty common, I hear. It’s terrible to realize how many other moms didn’t get good news that day. I still don’t know to what extent my son has been affected by his experience. I can’t think of anything more traumatizing, outside of war.
I don’t see how anyone would want to make a film that focuses on the “bright side” of September 11. Courage and compassion are beautiful traits, but should not be celebrated in the context of a feel-good movie that exists to enrich the director and producers, all of whom could already afford to feed the greater part of Africa. I hate these guys for personal reasons and political ones (aesthetic ones, too.) But I’d hate this movie no matter who made it. It underscores everything that Muslim Fundamentalists think about us Infidels: Nothing is sacred, nothing. At least, not if there’s some money to be made.