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'9-11 movie not political,'says director

Director Oliver Stone says he doesn't know if the United States is ready for his upcoming film about the September 11 terror attacks, but stresses the movie is a human rather than political account of the tragedy.

The often controversial three-times Oscar-winner said "World Trade Centre," to be released this year around the fifth anniversary of the attacks, documented a day in the life of two men trapped at the scene, their rescuers and families.

Speaking to an audience during a question and answer session late on Monday at the Bangkok International Film Festival, Stone was asked if Americans were ready for the first major Hollywood film on the subject.

"Is America ready for 9/11? Is America ready for gay sex? I don't know," Stone told the audience, referring to Ang Lee's Oscar-nominated cowboy film "Brokeback Mountain" which has been a surprise hit in US cinemas.

"It's about a rescue and families involved in the rescue. It's really a technical attempt to be realistic about what happened in that building," he said.

Oscar-winning actor Nicolas Cage plays the film's lead role, New York Port Authority policeman Sergeant John McLoughlin, who was trapped along with a fellow officer in the mangled wreckage of one of the twin towers that crumbled after being hit by hijacked passenger jets.

Besides the sensitivity of the subject matter to the American public, industry media have reported that some people linked to the Paramount Pictures project were concerned that Stone may introduce his own politics into the movie.

Stone has been publicly critical of US President George W. Bush's handling of the attacks and their aftermath and in Bangkok told the audience that "the present administration has been a nightmare."

But Stone, whose film "JFK" was condemned in some quarters for pushing the argument that the 1963 assassination of president John F. Kennedy was part of a plot, said there were no conspiracy theories in "World Trade Centre."

"They were right at the heart of the destruction ... right in the middle by an elevator shaft. They survived. It's about their rescue and their children at home," Stone added.

Stone said filming had finished two weeks ago, with the last four weeks proving difficult to work in as the set was filled with smoke.

But Stone, who won best director Academy Awards for his war epics "Born On the Fourth Of July" (1989) and "Platoon" (1986) as well as best screenplay for prison drama "Midnight Express" (1978), said making the film had humbled him.

"It was a wonderful experience to go back to working class people and their ordinary lives, the cops and firemen in New York. It was a very humbling experience," he said.

Stone, whose films have aroused controversy ever since "JFK," said the political landscape had changed "radically" under the Bush administration.

"If we get to make films and plays about it, it will be an interesting era to write about," he said.

The September 11 attacks that left a total of around 3,000 people dead in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.

The Bangkok film festival, which features 160 movies from some 50 countries, runs until February 27.


 Source :   Editor: WuLin
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