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Home >> Life
UPDATED: 09:45, August 07, 2006
New Yorkers shy away from Stone's 9/11 film
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For many New Yorkers it is too soon. For others the very idea of reliving the September 11 tragedy through the eyes of Oliver Stone in his new film "World Trade Center" is too traumatic to think about.

"I have no interest whatsoever. I think it's horrible. Just the idea of having a movie about 9/11 bothers me," said Jessica Amato in summarizing the mood of many New Yorkers about Stone's new project, released nationally August 9.

Amato worked on Wall Street for Goldman Sachs when first one plane and then another smashed into the twin World Trade Center towers, eventually bringing down the landmarks in a deadly heap in 2001.

"It was enough to live it once as a New Yorker. I don't think I want to pay money to see it again on the screen," Amato said. "To me it's sacred ground, it's a grave site, and it should be (left) alone as such."

The movie, inspired by the true story of two police officers who were miraculously rescued from the debris, sparked wide-ranging debate before its release.

Mary Schneidman, a mother who lives in one of the city's upscale suburbs, said she trusted Stone to do an honourable job.

"I'm really interested. I like Oliver Stone. He has an interesting take on issues in his movies," said Schneidman.

The movie had a Hollywood-style sneak preview in New York Thursday evening, with the red carpet rolled out for celebrities like the singer Sting, but also attended by key figures in the tragedy such as former mayor Rudy Giuliani.

Victims' relatives also attended the showing.

Among these was Mary Fetchet, who lost a son that day and is the founding director of the Voices of September 11, a non-profit advocacy group providing support for people impacted by the events.

"I think these movies are very important, the stories have to be documented," she said. But she agreed that some would disagree with her view.

Carie Lemack, who lost her mother in the first plane attack and later founded the Families of September 11, a victims' support group, said she started running out of movie theatres when the film's trailers hit the screens in May.

"I didn't want to have to see my mom's murder, I don't know why I have to experience it every time I'm going to watch a movie."

Her organization's Internet site devoted its front page to a discussion on whether those who were struck by the events should watch.

"The answer is very individual," the Families of September 11 site says.

Stone himself has so far received predominantly positive reviews from critics, including the New Yorker magazine, and he repeated last week that he believed the film would preserve the memory of the event for future generations.

"It's important to remember. People are forgetting already. Kids should know," said the director, who has promised to donate a portion of the film's proceeds to victims' associations.

But a few months after the modest box-office performance of "United 93" the story of the hijacked plane that was taken over and downed by passengers who all lost their lives some New Yorkers are skeptical about the movie's potential success.

"Why I hate this lousy movie," wrote Cindy Adams, the popular columnist for the New York Post.

"New Yorkers infuse such pain and emotion into 9/11 that, for now, absolutely nothing could project onto a screen what still rips at our entrails," Adams wrote on Friday.

Hugh Dillon, a lawyer, came out to watch stars like Nicolas Cage attend the premier showing but there is no question of him actually watching the movie itself.

"No, it's too sensitive. I'm very familiar with the story, and I'd be crying for the whole 2 hours," he said.

Stephen Levin, a doctor at Mount Sinai hospital who works on several programmes associated with the post-traumatic stress disorder and other problems suffered by survivors, said he believed few of his patients would want to see the film.

"Their enthusiasm to see such reminders of awful events is very low and I have patients who, at the anniversary of the terrible event, every September, they leave New York City," Levin said.

Source: China Daily

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