British Director's Cinema Masterclass

Scott Hammond Twin Towers

There are a lot of movies these days lacking the cutting edge that makes a piece of cinema great. Monumental motion pictures over the last five years are few and hard to come by. I would put  The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Harry Potter and King Kong as my choice of best films of the past half decade.But nothing that I have ever watched has had the impact on me of British director Paul Greengrass's United 93.

I had read reviews prior to watching the movie. They stated how heart-wrenching it is and I would have never believed this if it wasn’t for me actually experiencing the amazingly dramatic screen play.

The movie starts and finishes with shattering emotional power and I am not afraid to say that it made me
spine-chillingly tearful. There are always going to be high hopes for a  film that basically re-enacts, the best it can, the tragic events of  flight 93 on the fateful day of the 9/11 2001 terrorist attack on America. Unlike two others which, like weapons of mass destruction, took down New York's twin towers, the aircraft failed to reach its target because of the brave men and women aboard who fought their captors.

Seeing the mighty World Trade Centre in flames, smoke gushing into the New York sky, brought back every little bit of sickening horror that I felt at the time. it is a violent, searing memory,  that will never leave me.

The movie fantastically depicts  the confusion between the US government and its military that resulted in them failing to stop the huge tragedy. And even though, as a spectator, you know that flight 93 is doomed from the start, in the strangest way the film builds up a sense of hope that makes you eager to keep watching.

I saw the motion picture with a friend who has a fond love of aviation and, although there is no need for a knowledge in that particular field, it was still good to have him there telling me that the film-makers had taken as much care to be aeronautically authentic as they had with the rest of this well worked masterpiece of cinematography.

Joe Utichi, of, wrote a spot-on review of the film, which said: 'A fitting tribute to the innocents of that flight, a group of people who did not deserve to find themselves at the centre of a conflict that was not their own, United 93 is a film the whole world should see and, ultimately, could not have come soon enough.'

I do not think that there is much more to add to that. But I will say that this piece of cinema has brought back many bad memories not just for me, but I am sure for the entire cinema-going world. They are memories that needed to be dragged back to the surface of our consciousness and this film, even in the smallest sense, is a way of  us partially healing the wounds that awful day inflicted on humanity.