Mary Katharine Ham saw a screening of United 93 yesterday and has her initial thoughts. Here's a portion:
I saw United 93 yesterday.
I'm not sure if I can use this word as an adjective, but it keeps coming to mind, so here goes. It was shaking. I was shaken. I was shaky. However you want to say it, that's what it did.
It was also, at turns, moving, eerie, creepy, heavy, stark, gritty, exhilarating. I'm not gonna lie. It wasn't easy to watch. But I'm glad I watched it.
Five years after 9/11, I find myself still looking back on it as if it were a bad disaster movie. The images are so fiery and hear-wrenching, they're surreal. I know, intellectually, that it all happened. I know where I was when I found out; I remember calling all my friends in D.C. and New York; I remember looking warily at the clear blue sky every time I stepped outside.
But remembering it doesn't always make the whole surreal thing much less surreal, and I imagine many folks who weren't in NYC or D.C. that day feel the same way. Something that bizarre and weighty and horrible really requires that I just sit down and take it all in sometimes, concentrate on it, to remember that it all actually happened, that there really are more than 3,000 people in the ground because of that day.
Emotionally, that's what this movie does. It brings back that morning in a very real way. All the disbelief, the confusion, the incredulity, the fear, the panic, the sadness, the stunned silence.
Stunned silence. The theater was perfectly quiet when the movie ended. The walk out of the theater was perfectly quiet.
People have either forgotten about the devastation of 9/11 or just don't care anymore. I hope this movie brings the anger from 9/11 back to the surface to remind and redirect us in our mission to destroy terrorism. We can't do that unless we get angry at terrorists again.