Friday, August 18, 2006

World Trade Center: A Movie Worth Seeing

A few night ago I went to see WTC. A harrowing movie on par with (although not as good as) United 93, the movie was the story of the last two rescue workers removed from the rubble. It featured the head of a Transit Authority unit and one of his patrolman who were about to enter Tower 2 before it collapsed, but never made it and instead were buried for almost a day.

The movie intersperses their plight with how their families react while they wait, and wait, and wait. I can't imagine what it must have been like to know they went into the towers and then not hear from them. Hope and faith were their only options.

My biggest quibble is that the stories of the these two men are limited in nature. We never saw any planes crash or even the buildings collapse (although we definitely heard them). We did hear constant crashes and explosions while they were about to go into the building, which was most likely people landing on Tower 5. But we never got to experience the complete package (the people jumping, the planes crashing, the people fleeing, the buildings collapsing, etc.). While we've all seen these scenes before, I'd love to have seen how the people at the time reacted to them.

There is also the story of a former marine who decides to just leave his accounting job, put on his uniform and head down to Ground Zero to save people. We meet another marine (who in a mistake that cannot be attributed to Stone was white in the movie but is black) who just happened to be there searching. We also meet a former medic who spent years in rehab, but that day just decided to do whatever he could to help. We have firemen begging to be allowed into the site to search, willing to bare the risks, simply because their friends were dying there.

These stories are the moral of the movie. The movie makes it clear: 9/11 showed us the evil man can perpetrate, but it also showed us the good. The selflessness, the altruism, and willingness to take risks for people they've never met, and in many cases when it wasn't even their duty to do so. That's the lesson we should take from movies like WTC.

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