9/11 films gain momentum, popularity

By Stacie Wieland

“Flight 93”

Aired: Jan. 2006

This made-for-TV docudrama tells the story not only of the passengers onboard, but also of the communications to their families on the ground. As the airplane is taken over by hijackers and the passengers learn of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the people aboard United flight 93 banded together and chose to fight back.

“United 93”

Released: April 2006

This was the first studio film to focus on the tragedy of 9/11. Written and directed by Paul Greengrass, who has tackled other weighty social issues such as racial violence and terrorism in Northern Ireland in a compassionate way. This film recreates the flight in realtime — the 90 minutes is the same duration the actual flight was in the air. As Greengrass has stated, the reason “United 93” exerts such a power on people’s imaginations is because nobody knows precisely what happened. Who doesn’t wonder exactly what those people faced?

“World Trade Center”

Released: August 2006

Oliver Stone’s film tells the true story of two Port Authority police officers trapped underneath the debris of the buildings. It focuses on their survival, as well as their families and the men who rescued them.

The film’s star, Nicolas Cage, said research of his role as Officer John McLoughlin was some of the most intense of his career, because he had never met anyone who had been tested to the same level as McLoughlin was. Cage has also admitted to being nervous during initial interviews with him.

“The Path to 9/11”

Aired: Sept. 2006

A television miniseries that sheds light on specific events leading up to the 9/11 attacks, such as the 1993 bombing at the World Trade Center and the government’s response to it. It follows the FBI and the CIA in counter terrorism efforts.

The miniseries has come under scrutiny by former president Bill Clinton. Clinton has stated the film contains more allegations than facts and should not claim to be based on the 9/11 commision’s reports. Officials at ABC, the network airing the program, rebutted his statements and told CNN it includes scenes that are “not a documentary.”