Feature: Controversy surrounds World Trade Center

Note: This article was first published in Technician on August 31, 2006.


World Trade Center film inspires controversy

Hollywood is no stranger to disaster. From the attack on Pearl Harbor to the assassination of JFK, one thing seems to be true: if it's shocking and tragic, a movie will be made about it eventually.

The latest production based on real-life catastrophe is World Trade Center, which screened for free at the Campus Cinema Wednesday night. The film follows two police officers who are trapped under debris in the September 11 terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers. And though it's not unusual for Hollywood to make movies based on world-altering events, what makes World Trade Center different is that it's being released less than five years after the events it portrays. Many students at NCSU seem to think it is too soon to make a big-budget production out of the worst act of terrorism on American soil.

"It seems like they went a little fast, especially since we just had United 93 last spring," Sonora Bostion, a junior in communication, said.

Mason Joseph, a sophomore in nuclear engineering, objects to the film not because of when its being made but in terms of how -- it's a $63 million production helmed by famed director Oliver Stone.

"I don't think Hollywood can adequately portray the seriousness of the situation," Joseph said. "They're out to make a dollar, not show us what actually happened."

Others argue that the film isn't exploitative at all, and that now is just as good a time to make a movie about 9/11 as any.

"Hollywood can do what they want. People don't have to see it if they don't want to," Kristoeh Kleiner, a sophomore in mathematics, said.

Andrea Mensch, a lecturer in film studies, said the film might even be beneficial for many people.

"I still think there is a sense of trauma left over," Mensch said. "However, I think World Trade Center handles the events delicately and appropriately. It's like treating a serious illness with aspirin. I think we're ready."