United 93 (USA, 2006, Greengrass) AKA Flight into Obliviousness
The events of 9/11 were paradigm-shifting for many folks, an opportunity to take a closer look at the reasons that the world hates Americans and all they stand for. It seems such an opportunity has been lost on most folks, who choose instead to bury their collective heads in the sand and wait for the Powers That Be to re-shape the world back into that delicious, easily-digestable and nutritiously-empty Krispy Kreme donut of their dreams. So, what better to allow us all to continue to live in mindless reverie than a film that purports to be about the heroic deeds of men and women aboard 9/11's United flight 93. How better to salve the psychic wounds of a nation than to present as docudrama a seemingly "objective" view of the events of this fatal flight, one that is so lacking in insight and analysis that it masquerades as a cinematic Mobius strip, purporting to allow viewers to apply their own emotional and intellectual constructs, meanwhile abrogating all responsibility to make some sort of sense out of these world-changing events.
And just how disengenuous and irresponsible can these filmmakers be?
The events of this day were not merely isolated tragic events, but were rather signals to the rest of the world that we were about to bear witness to a sea change in the way we conduct global relationships. However, Greengrass and crew choose to ignore the larger socio-political context and focus instead upon the lives and more accurately the deaths of the people aboard the plane. Yet for all the apparent intimacy, there is no attempt to get to know these people as human beings; they are all cogs in the film's machinery. Similarly, we in the audience play our parts as passive observers caught up in the inevitable events on the screen, but with no way to understand their meaning or comprehend their importance. So, in the end, if there is no larger context provided, and no depth to the characterizations, you have to ask yourself, what is the point? The audience's isolation from understanding and human value reduces the film to a fear-mongering exercise at best, and a prolongued and agonizing snuff film at worst.
For more, there's an interesting conversation going on about this movie here: