Flight 93


How do you film the unfilmable? For many, 9/11 seems too close still for translation to screen; how can filmmakers tackle such terrors? Flight 93 is a TV take on the bravery of a gang of passengers on the titular jet. Realising from frantic phone calls to loved ones that they were on a suicide mission, they performed the unthinkable: they took on the terrorists and attempted to wrestle back control of the plane.

The cockpit-and-cabin scenes are unbearably taut, the live-or-die decisions taken by the terrified passengers translating into gut-wrenching horror for viewers. What's less convincing is the treacly music and intrusive scenes with grief-stricken relatives ladled on top of heart-stopping heroics. It's these missteps that mark Paul Greengrass' United 93 as a superior, more sensitive work. Yet it's a shame director Peter Markle's commentary wasn't available at press time, as his take no doubt sheds light on how he handled difficult choices for such high-altitude horror.


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