It's one of the most quoted catchphrases of our generation. It's a two-word slice of real, modern-day history that is in equal measure an inspirational call to arms; a reverent memorial to fallen American heroes; and, as anyone who has listened to Top 40 radio or visited a Christian book retailer in the past five years knows, a phrase that launched a thousand merchandising opportunities.
Now, the phrase has become a movie tagline. That's not too shocking, but what is surprising is that, with United 93, the first theatrical movie made about the tragedy of September 11, cynicism doesn't seem to be part of the equation. Sure, the movie initially garnered some skepticism—after all, how does one make a 9/11 movie without it smacking of manipulative commercialism?—but that was long before the film actually arrived. Now that United 93 has landed, critics are hailing it as a work of remarkable artfulness and sensitivity—just what a 9/11 movie should be.
Summarizing the film's plot seems redundant; after all, everyone knows what happened that day, both in New York City and—as this film reminds us—in Pennsylvania, where the hijacked Flight 93 crashed into a field rather than its intended target in Washington, D.C. It's not just a story of tragedy and terror; it's a story of courage, selflessness, and true heroism. It's also a story of faith—at least one passenger on the Flight, Todd Beamer, was a Christian. Beamer and his fellow passengers, who stole control of the flight from terrorists and directed their path away from our nation's capitol, are bona-fide American heroes.
Moviegoers will no doubt hold differing convictions about the personal choice to see the film or not. That's a matter ...1
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