While I was taking a much-needed mental health break on Monday night (Cortney, thankfully, dragged me to the movies), I ran into something I don’t think either of us was expecting: a full-length feature preview about the World Trade Center on September 11th. (Yes, my friends, this is going to be a bit more serious today).
During the previews, a trailer ran for World Trade Center, a film starring Nicolas Cage. My skin instantly erupted into goosebumps and my heart sank as the images filled the screen once again, only this time they were simulated. I felt myself getting nauseous when the shadow of a plane is seen flying across the buildings and the rumble from the jets thunders down on the city.
I will give them credit: I’m sure it is an incredibly real recreation, or at least visualization, of what the Big Apple suffered that day nearly 5 years ago. And maybe it’s symbolic, that it’s being released just before the 5-year anniversary.
But it begs the question: is this country ready for it? I know it was very difficult to watch and recall those images. I mean, my remote connection to September 11 is losing a family friend who was a few years older than I. I wasn’t in NYC; I didn’t lose family; I didn’t know anyone on a plane. I remember seeing the second plane crash “live” on the news. And all these images are swirling around in my mind again after seeing the trailer for this upcoming movie.
So what about the people who are more directly effected by this? What about the New Yorkers? Are they ready? What about the families? And the firemen? And the children?
Don’t get me wrong; I am a strong believer in keeping this memory alive for the sake of the victims–that they did not die in vain. And it is a horrible reality, but it is our reality as Americans. It is an unforgettable part of history.
But maybe on the converse, it will be cathartic? Maybe it will help us heal a bit more? While engineers are currently working on resurrecting part of the facade that stood for many months following the attacks, and the memorial plans are fully underway, is this movie something that may reunite Americans again?
Granted, I’m speaking today without any knowledge of the movie other than what I saw in the trailer. Oliver Stone (director), a New Yorker himself, has brought us many intense and emotional movies (Natural Born Killers, Any Given Sunday, Born on the Fourth of July) and undoubtedly has put something special into this one (you can’t attempt to make a movie about something of this magnitude without putting greatness into it). I mean, even the tagline has me curious about his angle: “The World Saw Evil That Day. Two Men Saw Something Else.”
Maybe this movie will bring a much-needed humanity to our memories. I know when I hear “September 11,” my first thought is “evil terrorists.” But what if this movie reminds us of the courage and strength of the New Yorkers, and the country that rallied around them? What if this serves to remind us of the goodness that poured in to combat the effects of the evil?
This is, of course, all speculation at this point. And I, honestly, will probably not go see the movie in the theaters. This is a much more private endeavor for me. And it will take a lot of strength to watch it. But maybe America needs this?
Maybe it’s a big step in our healing process.