Fri, Jul 14, 2006 - Page 16 News List

Too soon, too cynical, or just telling the truth?

Relatives of Sept. 11 victims say those involved in a new movie by director Oliver Stone are cashing in on the atrocity

By Rob Sharp  /  THE GUARDIAN , LONDON

Those connected to the project have been quick to leap to its defence. McGloughlin's wife, Donna, told The Observer: “We got involved because we felt it needed to be done accurately. We wanted to do the right thing and I think the filmmakers wanted to do the right thing too.”

The film's producer Moritz Borman also hit back at the allegations. He said: “The cops have not cashed in. They have spend endless hours on this because they felt it was important that the story came out. The fee they got was minimal. The amount they got paid on an hourly rate was very low compared to what anybody in the film industry gets on any job. It was really a pittance.

“Of course there are surviving family members of almost 3,000 people who died in World Trade Center alone. The ones who had anything directly to do with the story were completely consulted. I know there is one widow out there who didn't want it to be made because she felt it was too painful to see her husband die. But I am convinced when she sees it she will be resolved. But she wasn't there. Will and John were there.”

The picture has also provoked debate among the academic community. US media critic and author Shari Graydon condemned the use of the most dramatic elements of tragedies such as Sept. 11 as crass. She said: “These tend not to increase our understanding or make us better equipped to deal with situations such as these in the future.” She added that such films only served to increase the “culture of fear” in certain parts of the US.

Borman, though, said it was never the film's intention to be a definitive account of the day.

“We never went out to explore the whole story of 9/11 and its impact on America and the rest of the world,” he said. “It was more about the working class heroes who risked their life to rescue two of their own. It's a different topic. Nobody went into this film and thought this was the explanation for why 9/11 happened or its geopolitical impact.”

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