I was on the radio today. I've never called into a talk radio show, but I did today. It was New Jersey 101.5. I was driving to my parents' house and flipping radio stations when I heard the talk radio hosts, Deminski and Doyle, talking about the new Tom Hanks movie "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close." The movie is about the son of a man who died on 9/11. Apparently, the sister of someone who died on one of the planes on 9/11 believes that the filmmakers are exploiting the tragedy for commercial gain and is calling for a boycott of the movie.
I have complicated feelings about this. On one hand, I also freaked out when I saw the trailer. I don't like being reminded about that day. Whenever it is referenced and there are news clips that show the towers on fire, I cringe and have to look away. Even 10 years later. Every time I take the train into New York and I see the skyline that's missing two very important pieces, I'm reminded of that awful day.
On the other hand, it's part of our history. It happened. We can't pretend it didn't. Movies are made all the time about historical tragedies. One of the biggest movies of all time was about an tragedy. (Titanic, if you couldn't guess.) And it's not the only one. Pearl Harbor. Schindler's List. Hotel Rwanda. All about tragic events. All recent enough that people still living would remember it and be affected by a movie about it.
When I called in, (I was Aliah from Plainfield. Haydia is hard to say) I pointed out that there had already been a film made about 9/11. They had no idea what I was talking about. It was called "World Trade Center" and starred Nicolas Cage. No one remembers that movie. There was also a film called "United 93" about the people who brought down that plane in PA. So this film isn't new. It's just another in the inevitable slew of films that will come to be made about that day in September.
My advice to that lady who called for a boycott? Don't go see it. Change the channel when the trailer comes on. It's tough. It will probably always be tough. But 9/11 is a part of our cultural history. And pretending it never happened is not the way to go. Plus Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock are in it. If anyone can be trusted to be gentle with that sacred material, it's those two.
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