September 12, 2006
Path Leads to Beginning
This flies in the face of my usual process of forming opinions, because I've not seen the ABC mini-series "Path to 9/11", but I'm against it....completely
And I'm against it for one major reason:
"'For dramatic and narrative purposes, the movie contains fictionalised scenes, composite and representative characters and dialogue, and time compression," the network said in a statement.'" (out of a Guardian article, though it probably shows up in other publications as well)
Why do they need to add drama to 9/11? Why do they have to add to the horror and tragedy and sorrow of those events? Make your show about the facts, not a drama centered around the facts with embellishments. The actual events had plenty of drama.
To dramatize 9/11 on its anniversary, a day filled with somber remembrance already, is to rehash pain that doesn't need to be rehashed. I don't want, and we don't need, any help to remember what happened. Any argument of, "well not all of us were old enough to understand when it happened," is naive, at best. Anybody that wasn't old enough to understand on 9/11 does not and will never have the same sense of tragedy as those of us that did understand. Look at the assassination of JFK. People alive and old enough when it happened remember the shock and horror of the news, and will remember where they were and what they were doing for the rest of their lives. People that weren't remember it as a tragedy in American history with important consequences, but with little or no emotional attachment. 9/11 will be the same.
Air your documentaries and special remembrance specials, but do not dramatize this. If ABC really thought that it needed dramatization to hold people's attention, then they need to step back and think about how far they'd go for a buck. It seems such a profit-driven thing to do, to me at least. The fact that they've played up that it's based on the "9/11 Commission Report" makes it worse. And if the rumblings of politically favorable editing turn out to be true, then it's even more of a disgrace.
I think it's important for us to look back and learn as many lessons as we can from 9/11, and we should think about our future and how the world has changed since. But this is something to be done through the dry lens of history. Mourn the loss of all those fine people, remember what you felt in your heart and stomach watching the events unfold, but no one should ever, ever attempt to subject themselves or anybody else to those feelings again. Then to attempt to make them even worse is just plain sadistic. Those of us that remember do not need any help. Nor will we ever.