Splashing around in theology.

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Location: Ottawa, Canada

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Saturday, May 13, 2006

United 93

I went to this movie today.
How would I describe it?
Probably the word “important” is the first word that would come to mind.
And important is an understatement. It’s a movie I think that everyone should see.
I know that there are those who feel that United 93: The Movie is a gross exploitation of a horrid event. A theatre-izing of something so tragic it should be left alone.
Why though?
Is it because someone will make money from the movie? Is that it?
Is that why we should leave it alone, and not try to put it on the screen?
Or is it because it was about something in which real people were involved… in other words, because it is based upon an actual event so tragic that it is offensive to even think about what happened on Sept.11th, 2001? [It should be noted that the movie was made in the full support of the families of those onboard that fateful morning.]
Is it [any objection to the very existence of the movie] based upon the idea that portraying it like this, on the big screen, cannot possibly relate what actually went on, and to do it in this almost docu-drama type fashion [falsely] implies that this is pretty much exactly what occurred? Hence, because of unavoidable innacuracy and possible misrepresentation, we should leave it alone?
Would we say the same thing then, of Spielberg’s Schindler’s List?
No one got all upset about the possible inaccuracies of say, James Cameron’s Titanic, even though the film is also based on a very real tragedy. Are these two examples irrelevant because they were not ever claiming to be docu-drama? Is it because the events are so distant in time?
Is Sept.11th still too fresh then, is that it?

Director Paul Greengrass does a tremendous job of taking us through the events of United Flight 93, dovetailing in real time the confusion ensuing as Air Traffic Controllers and Military Command Centers struggle to make sense of what is happening.
To say “you are really there” would be wrong.
Only the people that were there, were there.
But I would say that I think it is about as close as we can get and still be alive afterwards.
In the last portions of the movie I was crying.
And then I was the last person to leave the theatre.

I have never in my lifetime heard such reverent silence, at the end of a movie.

I went to see United 93 based upon several outstanding reviews, along with reccomendations from a couple of friends. Plus, I will admit, I went to see the movie because of my own interest in trying to get within a million miles of grasping how or why something like this event happened in the first place.
In this last sense, the movie did, I think, portray in an “important” way, the true nature [as I see it, and understand it] of why Sept.11th, 2001, happened.
To some, this [what I am about to say] may seem like an insanely stupid oversimplification, but I am going to say it anyway.
The catastrophic human events of Sept.11th, 2001 were a result of certain people being so certain of their religious beliefs that they felt entirely justified in destroying not only themselves, but other people as well.

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