Movie-fying an entire generation of history

Story by Eric Christenson

With the all-encompassing news of Osama Bin Laden’s death circling the air like a flu virus times a thousand, the biggest question on anyone’s mind, OBVIOUSLY is, ‘when will the bio-pic arrive?’

I bet as soon as Barack Obama walked off back into the White House after announcing Bin Laden’s death, 500,000 screenwriters and Hollywood execs across the nation fired up their fountain pens and got to work developing the story of the story: the movie that would perfectly encapsulate the terrorist’s death scored by Hans Zimmer.

I can see it already: the Navy SEALSs heroically landing on top of the luxury living space in Pakistan and swooping in, shooting their way through the building until they see bin Laden cowering in the corner. Bin Laden lets out a soft cackle and mutters, “You’ve won,” just as he is shot in the head. OH, THE DRAMA.

You know, I sincerely miss a time where something in the world could happen without everyone trying to cash in on it.

I mean, how many movies about 9/11 did they make? I can think of two off the bat: “United 93” and “World Trade Center,” the latter starring Nicolas Cage. I haven’t seen the films, but based on previews, trailers and the fact that Nicolas Cage is in one of them, it’s a shoe-in that they’re probably pretty overwrought.

For some reason, I think Hollywood tells themselves we need this as a country. We need someone to come in and add lighting and music and fictionalize (and thereby, make cheesy) an already startlingly dramatic, real life story. And that just doesn’t make sense to me.

It doesn’t make a situation like 9/11 easier to deal with, knowing there are a few movies out there that sort of depict what happened. It just doesn’t. It doesn’t help us understand how crucial these events actually are. They merely paint a picture, rake the money in and move on.

And in our current culture, this has to happen immediately! I mean, in the circumstance of those 9/11 movies, they were both released in 2006, which means they probably started production in 2004 based on a script that was probably started in 2002 which (and see if you can keep up with me) is just A SINGLE YEAR after the tragedy.

And it’s only getting worse. It’s been not even a week since news of Bin Laden’s death and already rumors are circulating about “The Hurt Locker” director and Oscar-winner, Katherine Bigelow’s project, “Kill Bin Laden.” Bigelow’s been apparently quietly prepping the film based around previous attempts to kill the al-Qaeda leader, but now she has the icing on her cake. I guess we can probably see this movie in two years tops.

The point is, it’s not tactful to start making a film on something whose repercussions haven’t even begun to resonate in the world. It’s just going to turn into a feature-length political cartoon, which taken out of present context, means nothing.

If you want real drama, see the video footage from the luxury compound after the firefight or turn on some world news every so often. You don’t need an artificial visual representation because the real thing exists.

The real drama is in what’s real.