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world trade center World Trade Center
Directed by:
Oliver Stone
Cast: Maria Bello, Conor Paolo, Anthony Piccininni, Morgan Flynn

Written by:
Ricardo Barberini

January 3, 2007

I am not a fan of Oliver Stone.  He is a talented director but is affected by too much ideology which makes him twist the truth and try to rewrite history.  This is true for all radicals whether they are from the right or the left.


His films about Kennedy and Nixon are examples of his mindset.  In the first he idolized the marginal character of New Orleans District Attorney, Jim Garrison, as a champion of truth and justice and in the second movie he maligned Nixon by caricaturizing the character of a president, who despite his paranoia had many noteworthy achievements

But, as we know, if Hollywood does not like you for any reason then they will make half truth movies to sully your name for good.  So, they glamorized Clinton despite his flaws and vilified Nixon.

This time around, Oliver Stone does not take a political stance here and that makes this movie refreshingly wonderful.  The movie which has now been released on DVD is based on John Mc Loughlin’s writings about his entrapment in the World Trade Center after the collapse.

Two Port Authority Policemen, not to be confused with the NYPD policemen, are caught under the rubble.  They spend about a day under tons of concrete before they are heroically rescued by firefighter and medics and brought to surface.

While they are down in the hell hole below their respective families try to cope with the situation.  The move switches back and forth between the angst of the family members specially the wives and the children and the men who think they will die in that enclosed tomb.

Oliver Stone has shot the movie very much like a TV movie and with good effects.  There are very few fade-ins and fadeouts in the movie.  Most scenes end abruptly before the next starts similar to the way TV programs break for a commercial and then start with a new scene. 

There was no great acting since it was really a docudrama and rightly so but the acting was quite acceptable.  I also understand that the two men were trapped in darkness but to relay the claustrophobia one does not have to make the scene so dark that it is hardly visible.  We knew that Mc Loughlin and Jimeno were suffering but we could not see the extent of their torment.  Neither Nicolas Cage nor Michael Pena have the range of vocal chords to express anguish without being seen.  So, it was difficult to sympathize with them more than we did. If we had seen how hopelessly, Mc Loughlin was pinned down and immobilized; we would have even been more sympathetic.

I want to admit that I shed a few tears near the end while observing the heroic work of rescue workers and responders who risked their lives to save the others.  Yes, America is resilient and when the chips are down, people come out of the woodwork and pitch in and they do not ask for recognition.  That is something to be proud of.

A year after the incident I was in New York and went to visit the site and pay my respect to the spirits of the innocents.  Ground Zero was a pile of rubble, abandoned and desolate.  It was almost dusk so there was hardly any color in the air and everything was starkly black and white.  I closed my eyes, and visualized the movies that I had seen of Berlin after the fall of the Third Reich.  It was so much like a bombed out block in Berlin in 1945, only the stray dogs and cats were missing.  I had seen the World Trade Center only from the air so I could not imagine the scale of destruction.  Then I looked around and saw the Deutsche Bank Building.  It was maybe forty stories high with its guts missing as if a giant had taken a bite right out of the center of it.  It was fittingly covered in a black transparent shroud.  I then realized the scale of the disaster.  That building with its middle part almost missing stood there for many years, a victim of a dispute between insurers and the owners of the building and yet a reminder of the trauma that befell us all.

I digress but then again it was a defining moment in the history of the world.

This time, Oliver, I liked this movie.  It was very good and perhaps one of the best films of 2006 

Go rent it.

We give it starstarstar.

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