Six years after the most spectacular terrorist attack in human history, the Hollywood establishment still hasn’t come to terms with the event – and even managed to censor the most serious cinematic effort to place September 11th in a meaningful historical context.
Instead of dramatizing the ongoing menace of Islamo-Nazi assault and the so-far successful defensive efforts of selfless US and allied heroes, the entertainment industry constructs its terrorist fantasies around American or European conspirators. Political correctness famously required the producers of “Sum of All Fears” to alter the Tom Clancy novel to substitute German terrorists for the Iranian-Palestinian killers in the original story.
Meanwhile, dozens of other movies with terrorist bad-guys (“Bad Company,” “Next,” “Flight Plan,” “Red Eye,” “Stormbreaker,” “Cody Banks,” “The Bourne Ultimatum,” “Déjà Vu,” “Live Free or Die Hard,” and many, many more) emphasize the white, Euro-American identity of the villains.
Among the two acclaimed feature films that dealt directly with the events of the worst day in American history, Oliver Stone’s “World Trade Center” focused on first responders reacting to the catastrophe and made no attempt whatever to show the suicidal fanatics who perpetrated it, while only the excellent “United 93” actually dared portray terrorists (four of the nineteen 9/11 hijackers) as young, Islamic, Middle Eastern males.
On television, at least “Twenty Four” has mustered the courage to highlight the dangers of Islamic terrorism (while also making a point of offering some Muslim heroes) but by far the most serious effort to portray the horrifying phenomenon of al Qaeda and Bin Ladenism remains the superb ABC mini-series, “The Path to 9/11,” which aired amid considerable controversy in September of 2006.
Considering the simultaneous commercial and critical success of this five-hour epic (including seven Emmy nominations and an impressive audience of more than 25 million viewers) one might reasonably expect a major DVD release to coincide with 9/11 observances this year. Major television specials or mini-series will result in a DVD release an average of four months after the initial broadcast, but a year after the national airing of “Path to 9/11” ABC will say only that the company “has no release date at this time.” The network (and its parent, the Disney Company) also declined the opportunity to re-broadcast the beautifully crafted and sweeping mini-series to coincide with the sixth anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks – no doubt missing a chance to attract millions of new and repeat viewers.