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2006 Culture Awards

The Year in Movies


9. ‘United 93’
Paul Greengrass’s semi-improvised 9/11 drama has few answers and doesn’t even pose many questions. It’s journalism, not art: a you-are-there depiction of how things worked—and, on that day, how things didn’t. We can debate whether journalism in this tragic context is enough, but the charges of exploitation—“Is it too soon?,” etc.—seem small-minded in a country forever transformed by these events. Small-minded, too, is the notion of Good versus Evil. These hijackers believe they’re serving the one true God, and in the face of their unwavering righteous delusions, the courage of the passengers of United 93—ordinary people jarred out of complacency—seems all the more inspiring.


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