Stephen Prince, author of Firestorm: American Film in the Age of Terrorism was recently on On the Media to discuss how filmmakers have taken on the challenge of capturing the truth of the 9/11 attacks.
In the interview, Prince discusses such films as Stephen Spielberg’s The Terminal, Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanomo Bay, United 93, and Oliver Stone’s World Trade Center. Prince also talks about how such genre films as The Dark Knight and Iron Man have incorporated the post-9/11 atmosphere of terror into their story lines. At the end of the interview Prince summarizes how Hollywood’s unwillingness to explore the darker concerns that still haunt America:
The movies have been working very hard to persuade us that we’re in good hands, that the security forces are a jump ahead of the terrorists and that they’re going to find out about the plots in the nick of time.
We know the story of 9/11 was very different. It was a story of chaos and breakdown in the chain of command. This is something our films have not shown us very honestly. Instead, they acknowledge the kind of world that we all know we now live in, and they make it habitable by reassuring us that in the end, everything is going to be okay.