20 years 9/11
These films are dedicated to tragedy
The attacks of September 11th are 20 years old. Films have already dealt with the difficult subject in different ways.
Anyone who was old enough still knows exactly what he or she was doing when the United States was the target of a brutal terrorist attack exactly 20 years ago. September 11, 2001 has eternally burned itself into the collective memory as “9/11” – and of course it has been dealt with in a large number of films. Sometimes the works are dedicated to the people directly affected at the World Trade Center or one of the hijacked aircraft, sometimes the bereaved come into focus and in still other films the far-reaching consequences of the tragedy are illuminated.
Helpers and heroes
“World Trade Center”
The film “World Trade Center” by Oliver Stone begins in the early morning of September 11, 2001, when the police officer John McLoughlin (Nicolas Cage) starts his usual duty in New York City. A little later, he and his colleagues found themselves on the job at the World Trade Center, into which an airplane crashed for reasons that were as yet inexplicable. When one of the two towers collapses, McLoughlin and his colleague William Jimeno (Michael Peña) are seriously injured and buried under the rubble. A cruel race against time begins. The film is based on the factual accounts of the real police officers McLoughlin and Jimeno.
Director Paul Greengrass dedicated his film “Flight 93” to the heroic passengers of the fourth hijacked aircraft with said flight number. It tells how the terrorists gained control of the machine in order to direct it to Washington DC and probably to fly there to the Capitol or the White House. But the passengers fought off the terrorists and the plane ultimately crashed in a field in the US state of Pennsylvania, killing all occupants. Greengrass was particularly interested in realism, so largely unknown actors were hired and many dialogues were improvised.
Victims and bereaved
In order not to reveal the final twist of the film, a more superficial synopsis follows: “Remember Me” with Robert Pattinson and Emilie de Ravin in the leading roles tells the story of the rebellious but kind-hearted Tyler Hawkins (Pattinson), who detours himself into the policeman’s daughter Alyssa Craig (de Ravin) in love. What begins as a supposed coming-of-age drama turns into a tragedy, because: The attacks of September 11th had a terrible effect on the happiness of both of them.
“The love in me”
For a change, in “Die Liebe in mir” from 2007, actor Adam Sandler can prove that he can do more than just slapstick. He plays a man named Charlie Fineman, who lost his wife and three daughters in the terrorist attack. The loss has made him a recluse struggling with outbursts of anger. One day he meets an old college friend named Alan Johnson (Don Cheadle) on the street. The successful dentist then increasingly takes on the broken man and tries, with the patience of an angel, to lead him back to life.
“Extremely loud & incredibly close”
Stephen Daldry’s film “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close” is about the shy boy Oskar Schell (Thomas Horn), who loses his father (Tom Hanks) on September 11th. The two of them had repeatedly gone on scavenger hunts to lure Oskar out of his shell and to bring him into contact with other people. When, after the stroke of fate, the boy finds a mysterious key in a vase, he suspects that it is the last riddle of his deceased father. So he sets out to follow the clues and solve the “case”.
“Operation: 12 Strong”
The war film “Operation: 12 Strong” portrays the true events that directly resulted from the terrorist attacks of September 11th. In the film with Chris Hemsworth and Michael Shannon, a tiny group of soldiers is sent to Afghanistan with the support of locals to drive the Taliban and Al-Qaeda out of the strategically important city of Mazar-e Sharif. The film is based on the book “Horse Soldiers: The Extraordinary Story of a Band of US Soldiers Who Rode to Victory in Afghanistan” by journalist Doug Stanton. A memorial was erected to the soldiers at Ground Zero, where the World Trade Center once stood.
“Zero Dark Thirty”
With “Zero Dark Thirty” director Kathryn Bigelow has delivered a haunting thriller that deals with the question of how far the end can justify the means. The film describes the CIA’s search for Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. At the center is the intelligence analyst Maya (Jessica Chastain), who witnesses how CIA employees torture a prisoner to get clues. At first shocked by the bestial practices, she soon takes part in them herself.
The film “The Report” with Adam Driver starts exactly with this difficult issue. As Senate employee Daniel Jones, he is given the thankless task of investigating the CIA’s own agents who, after 9/11, resorted to increasingly immoral means to obtain alleged information. In the end he has a report of 7,000 pages in front of him …