If you come in my cage I'll eat you too!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Flight 93

I just saw Flight 93. My Palestinian-American friend took me to see it. My friend was in Amman Jordan, during the wedding bombing and was staying in the hotel that was bombed. He travels back and forth to the Middle East a lot for business. He took a lot of pictures of the bombing debris and the protests afterwards.

My friend said that he remembered bursting into tears when he saw the twin towers go down. He knew that the police and firefighters were still in the towers and he was overwhelmed with grief. On his way home from a training seminar for work on Sept 11, he saw an SUV pulled over to the side of the road and some guy was holding up a sign that said "Kill All the Arabs," and people in cars were honking in agreement. He said he just didn't know what to think and he was very scared. He has been in the US navy and is very moderate, very educated. His father loved this country and so does my friend. It's been a rough few years for him.

So he calls me and asks if I want to see the movie and I say yes and he jokes, "Gotta go see my people!" The movie is a masterpeice on many levels. It's beautifully acted and directed. My friend said during the film that he recognized everyone, they all looked familiar. After the movie, I told him that I think the casting director picked people that looked like people everyone knew, so that we would feel in sympathy with them. The actor that played Mark Bingham, the gay rugby player from San Francisco, really became him for me. The actress that played the pretty blonde stewardess deserves an Oscar. Some of the air traffic controllers and ground people were playing themselves, I don't know how they did it, but it was brilliant. It was incredibly moving to see everyone working behind the scenes, scrambling around, trying to make sense out of the crazy stuff that was happening. No one was quite sure what was going on, their brains just couldn't process this war crime happening on US soil. The magnitude of the success of that attack, just boggles the mind. I remember my Iranian boyfriend telling me during the Reagan years that no one would ever attack the US. Those days are gone. I got very nauseated during the movie and had to do deep breathing exercises to keep my lunch down, I don't know if it was due to the dizzying camera work or the emotional impact. There was a group of leftist women in the audience that laughed through the whole movie, any time President Bush or Vice-President Cheney was mentioned they went into peals of laughter. My friend and I laughed evey time they showed the one European/Scandinavian(?) passenger, so intent was he on going along with the terrorists, so I guess we can't complain.

My friend did note the odd casting for the Arab parts, as the actors that played the hijackers were very light skinned and handsome. I said I thought that that was intended to avoid stereotyping. We both agreed that the actors they usually get to play Arabs in movies are Pakistani and look totally different from most Arabs, who look different from each other depending on the region they come from. One of the actors portraying a terrorist looked very Jewish, in fact. I have no complaints about the soft focus on the terrorists leading up to the hijacking, it didn't seem apologetic to me. Those men believed in what they were doing, there is no getting around that. They had the strength of their faith and convictions. So do men that kill abortion providers for that matter. I was happy as hell when the passengers opened up on the terrorists and started beating them to death. I have to admit, I didn't ask my friend what he thought about that part.


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