Hollywood’s 9/11 Blind Spot

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A Los Angeles Times article recently began by noting that Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, the Tom Hanks post-9/11 film which opens on Christmas, is one of the very few Hollywood productions to try to come to grips with the impact of September 11, 2001 on our national psyche. The piece then went on to ponder the question, “Why so few Sept. 11 films?” and concluded that “the film industry has tiptoed around this national tragedy.” Indeed it has, but not for the reasons suggested in the Times article.

The Times points out that there have been plenty of documentaries about the day and its aftermath, but ten years after the terrorist attacks, only two major feature films — Oliver Stone’s World Trade Center and Paul Greengrass’ United 93 – have specifically dealt with the day in question, and “neither film was a roaring commercial success.”

“If anything,” the article continues, “the film industry has used the tragedy as an excuse to deluge TV and the multiplex with political thrillers focusing on terrorism,” citing Showtime’s series Sleeper Cell and Homeland, the feature film The Kingdom, and the upcoming film by The Hurt Locker filmmakers about the killing of Osama bin Laden. An “excuse” to focus on terrorism? Sept. 11 was not some vague “tragedy”; it was a terrorist attack. The enemy pretty much did that focusing for us. In any case, none of those thrillers exactly set the box office or Nielsen ratings on fire either.

Among the sources offering their thoughts on the topic was novelist Amy Waldman, author of The Submission, a novel about a Muslim architect who wins a contest to design a Ground Zero Memorial. Waldman thinks that Hollywood has steered clear of addressing 9/11 because overexposure of that fateful morning has squeezed out any possibility for imaginative interpretation:

Has any event in history been so visually documented and seen from every possible angle by so many people? There’s not a ton of room for the imagination there.

Really? No room for the imagination? If anything, the attacks have spawned some of the wildest flights of filmmakers’ imaginations – namely, Michael Moore’s fact-challenged Fahrenheit 911 and the even more outlandish Loose Change, which posit that the collapse of the Twin Towers was an inside job carried out by the demonic George W. Bush and his cronies. “No room for the imagination” seems like an, well, unimaginative explanation.

Closer to the truth is film critic Marshall Fine, quoted as saying that 9/11

[has] been covered almost too carefully. [Hollywood’s] been so worried about offending somebody’s sensibilities that they’ve held off. There’s so much caution.

Hollywood has been afraid of offending sensibilities. Where it once led the propaganda charge against the Nazis and Japanese imperialists, Hollywood is now afraid of offending the very Islamists who have declared war on us, because it doesn’t want to incur their violent wrath. It’s even afraid of being called Islamophobic. Hollywood is much more comfortable clinging to the multiculturalist orthodoxy which faults the racist, imperialist, warmongering America and the West for all international conflict.

“The one thing the [9/11 attacks] did do,” says film professor David Irving in the Times,

was open our eyes to this world in the Middle East, and I think a lot of the movies that came out as a result of that, it’s been a way for us to understand why [9/11] happened, because it was not some random act.

Indeed it was not a random act. But ten years after that morning, have the movies that resulted from it been helpful for us “to understand why 9/11 happened”? Or were they merely efforts on the part of left-leaning filmmakers to spread their morally obfuscating, America-loathing, anti-war messages?

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  • norcaltruth

    You say 'the war' like there is only one.

    And infact, if you study, the CIA has not always been on the best side of history. Not to say there aren't any good officers though.

    One bad apple in the CIA, regarding 9/11, is Rich Blee.

    Read up!

    • http://visionsandprinciples.blogspot.com/ InRussetShadows

      It is precisely people like you, who peddle conspiracy theories, and traffic in all manners of vile anti-American propaganda (subtlely or overtly) that infest Hollywood. Read up? How about you grow up and develop an appreciation for the country you live in?

      • norcaltruth

        It is people like me who continue to support the 9/11 family members by telling people like you to watch the best 9/11 movie out there: 9/11, Press for Truth.

        I love America!

        Watch it!

  • jacob

    It has been stated "ad nauseam" that the Left is in bed with the Islamists and
    knowing what calls the shots in Hollywood, will explain the reason for them to
    avoid touching the issue with a 30-foot pole…

    Add to it OBAMA's ukase on not to call terorists by their true name but "insurgents"
    or "freedom fighters" and there is your answer…

  • mrbean

    And Fort Hood was a domestic disturbance not a terrorist act according to DoD now.

  • Questions

    Perhaps the lack of commercial success of films concerning that terrible date might explain their relatively small volume. In any event, we should be grateful for such brilliant movies as "United 93" and "World Trade Center," not to mention decent films with a (less overt) 9/11 subtext, such as "25th Hour" and "Reign Over Me."

    Not everything revolves around politics and war.

    • mlcblog

      Actually much of life centers around politics and war and the effect of these upon the populace.

      I think the article is right on. Hollywood has sold us out, or very short.

      • BS77

        There have been some great war films…..Paths of Glory with Kirk Douglas was really good…although it seemed to be a liberal attack on war…it was really a vehicle to question the leadership of corrupt, politician-military leaders who didn't care about the soldiers, only their own careers and advancement. Great film.

  • Ghostwriter

    It would be nice if they did a patriotic film once in a while. Especially about 9/11.

    • BS77

      I liked The Delta Force with Chuck Norris……..that's the way to deal with hijackers and terrorists. That was a patriotic film.

  • FriendofGaryCooper

    Very good article; Hollywood has had a pronounced anti-American bias in films for a long, long time. However, their are enough conservatives in Hollywood to make a patriotic film about 9/11. Perhaps Tom Selleck and Stephen Baldwin should make such a film.

    • Questions

      The "bias" of which you speak is a phantom. Check out the weekly listings in any newspaper; I defy you to find a single anti-American movie coming out of any Hollywood studio.

      • FriendofGaryCooper

        One that comes immediately to mind is the 2004 version ot "The Alamo." This movie portrays the Americans besieged by Santa Anna's army; as caught by surprise on the morning of the final battle. They were shown to be asleep when Santa Anna's troops were charging the walls, ladders in hand. Pure anti-American nonsense. And what about Burt Lancaster's 1972 movie; "Ulzana's Raid," I believe its called; that shows American troops killing those they were supposed to defend; then committing suicide on the battlefield. And what about Jane Fonda's movies? The "phantom" is very real.

        • mlcblog

          Another example is one of my childhood favorites, Alcott's Little Women. Imagine my disgust when I found that sticky lib Susan Sarantrap inserting all kinds of PC dialogue into the script. Ruined it. That's one less DVD I will buy from them.

      • traeh

        The article you perhaps didn't even read above, listed a whole slew of anti-American films.

        The reason is not just anti-Americanism, though. Even more, the reason is fear of criticizing Islam, primarily because if you do you get death threats and violence from Muslims, and you get pilloried as a bigot in significant parts of the media. Who wants to go around watching his own back for the rest of his life. Rushdie is just the tip of a huge iceberg of individuals who have been intimidated into silence or had violence done against them because they didn't kowtow to Islam. Remember what happened to the Japanese translator of Rushdie? How about his Norwegian translator, or his Spanish translator? In fact I could literally give you links to dozens of public figures and public institutions who admit they have censored themselves in response to death threats from Muslims.

  • http://nycright.blogspot.com Ron Lewenberg

    It isn't Hollywood, the American people don't care to see war movies anymore. In 1969-70, at the height of the anti-war movement, Hollywood released two of the best war movies it ever made, "Patton" and "Tora Tora Tora". These were quite successful.
    In 2005, Hollywood did make "The Greatest Raid" and it was an utter flop. It cost 80 million to produce and brought in under 11 million. They released the laughable Aliens vs Predator at the same time, which cost 60 million and brought in 172 million.

    As I wrote at the time, Generation X and Y have no problem with blood and guts, just with history. http://nycright.blogspot.com/2005/08/perhaps-our-

    If the American people as consumers don't care for glorious history, why should Hollywood produce them? Conservatives like to whine but are too lazy or cheap to go on mass and support good projects.

    • mlcblog

      I don't agree with this. I think if H-wood's heart were in it, they'd have us lining up to see whatever movies they made on this theme. After all, they are fabulous! and quite skilled at whatever they want to do.

    • Bookdoc

      First, Tora Tora Tora was a flop when it came out. It became profitable in the long run on cassette and DVD (I have both). The problem it has is that it isn't dramatized-everything that happened was from original sources and real history isn't dramatic enough. The Greatets Raid just wasn't very good. For great war movies, there are much better examples than Patton! To Hell and back, Sergeant York, Bataan, Wake Island, Sands of Iwo Jima, and even Battle of the Bulge (not accurate but still a great watch), If Hollywood would just make a movie where the Americans are the real heroes and the enemies are moslems. I just wonder how a movie like that would do?

    • http://visionsandprinciples.blogspot.com/ InRussetShadows

      Oh, yes, conservatives won't go see a war movie that praises America, because we're cheap (really? check out the charitable giving charts again) or lazy (uhm, who do you think's working here)?

  • traeh

    On second thought, I won't continue the above comment — the links get screwed up at this site. But you can see many of them here:

  • LooeyNoorey

    [FrontPage… I discovered what follows while killing time on the net. Enjoy.]


    Emperor and Empress Obama, professional vacationers, can be found in the Old Testament! Read on:

    Proverbs 19:10 (NIV): "It is not fitting for a fool to live in luxury – how much worse for a slave to rule over princes!"
    Also Proverbs 30:22 (NIV) which says that the earth cannot bear up under "a servant who becomes king."
    And Ecclesiastes 5:2-3 (KJV) advises: "let thy words be few…a fool's voice is known by multitude of words."
    Although Obama is not descended from slaves, he may feel that he's destined to become a black-slavery avenger.
    Or maybe an enslaver of all free citizens!
    For some stunning info on Pres. Obama and his fellow traitors, Google "Imam Bloomberg's Sharia Mosque," "Michelle Obama's Allah-day," "Obama Supports Public Depravity," "David Letterman's Hate Etc.," "Un-Americans Fight Franklin Graham" and also "Sandra Bernhard, Larry David, Kathy Griffin, Bill Maher, Joan Rivers, Sarah Silverman." Also Google "Prof. F. N. Lee's ISLAM IN THE BIBLE [PDF]."
    PS – Since Christians are commanded to ask God to send severe judgment on persons who commit and support the worst forms of evil (see I Cor. 5 and note "taken away"), Christians everywhere should constantly pray that the Lord will soon "take away" or at least overthrow all US leaders (including subversive, America-hating, Jesus-bashing Hollywood shmucks) who continue to sear their conscience, who dangle every unspeakably filthy vice before young people, and who arrogantly trample the God-given rights of the majority including the rights of the unborn. Do we need a second American Revolution?
    PPS – For a rare look at the 181-year-old endtime belief which has long neutralized millions of American patriots by promising them an "imminent rapture" off earth – which has diverted them away from being prepared to stand against all enemies, domestic as well as foreign – Google "Pretrib Rapture Politics," "Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty," "Pretrib Rapture Diehards," "Edward Irving is Unnerving," "Pretrib Rapture Secrecy," and "Pretrib Rapture – Hidden Facts" – all by the author of the bestselling nonfiction book "The Rapture Plot" (the most accurate and highly endorsed documentation on the pretrib rapture's long-covered-up-but-now-revealed beginnings in Britain in 1830 – see Armageddon Books).

  • WilliamJamesWard

    Hollywood, capitol of the left coast is in bed with Islam and the leftist traitors
    follow the Blind Sheikh, you know "the blind leading the blind"……….William