Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Forty Ordinary People Took on the Fanatics

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Forty Ordinary People Took on the Fanatics

Article excerpt

It looks set to be one of the most talked about and controversial films of the year and will instantly put British-born director Paul Greengrass under the spotlight.

United 93 is the first dramatised movie adaptation of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and, not surprisingly, the 50-year-old has already prepared himself for the inevitable question ( is it too soon to make a film about the deeply harrowing events of September 11, 2001?

"At what point is it OK to put a painful time on the screen? I think it's when the families say 'Yes' which they did in this instance," he replies without hesitation.

More than 100 family members and friends of the 40 people who lost their lives on the flight gave the go-ahead for the film to be made and it's their stories which the director hopes might determine what really happened on the doomed aircraft.

The plane was the fourth to be hijacked by Al Qaeda terrorists on the morning of 9/11, and the only one not to reach its intended destination ( either the White House or Capitol Building.

Half an hour earlier two hijacked planes had crashed into New York's Twin Towers and a third had hit the Pentagon. It's widely believed that the passengers aboard Flight 93 tried to subdue their hijackers who were then forced to abort their intended target, crashing into a field in Pennsylvania instead.

Greengrass went on: "Forty ordinary people on Flight 93 had 30 minutes to confront the reality of the way that we're living now. They were the first people to inhabit the post 9/11 world," Paul explains.

"At a time when the rest of us were watching television, dumbstruck, unable to understand what was going on, these people onboard that airplane knew very well.

"They could see exactly what they were dealing with ( and were faced with a dreadful choice. Do we sit here and do nothing and hope for the best or do we do something about it and if so, what can we do? …

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