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Sydney Film Festival - Day 13

by Michael Collins

It is difficult to assess a film that takes on a theme as big as September 11.

Letís say that Flight 93 respectfully and thoughtfully recounts how people reacted to the unthinkable.

Apart from scenes of the Flight 93 itself, a large proportion of the film looks at the initial reaction of authorities when it gradually dawned upon them that there was a coordinated terrorist attack. Knowing the extent and nature of the attack wasnít at all apparent when it was happening. It was chilling to see the confusion and frustration of those air traffic controllers and the military.

Thereís no big Hollywood Hero moment in this film. Itís just a bunch of ordinary people reacting in the best way they can. Even the hijackers seem to look rather overwhelmed by the circumstances that they found themselves in.

My feelings while watching the film were of dread and nerves. It was like reliving those events all over again. It felt so sad to see at the beginning of the film these people going through there normal lives while unknown to them the plot to take their lives was being unfurled.

I was impressed how director Paul Greengrass resisted the urge to make a scene overly poignant or heroic. Itís a worthy document of those tragic events.

To lighten the mood and to end the evening C.R.A.Z.Y. was presented to lift the audience from the low that we all experienced with United 93.

Set in French Canada across three decades, Zachary Beaulieu has one of those weird lives that always seem to be in Francophone movies. I donít know how they stand for it.

Starting in the 60s Zachary is born, dropped on the ground and is seen as a miracle maker by his mother before he has uttered his first word. While all of this goes on Zachary has to work out his sexuality.
C.R.A.Z.Y. has great performances from its cast with Michel CŰtť leading the way as Zacharyís father, Gervais.
The film is not without its bittersweet moments as a three decade spanning family story is bound to have. This gives the film some meat on the bones and makes it a more satisfying experience

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originally posted: 06/27/06 20:09:23
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