A Film That's "Catchy, Hip" and Grasping at Straws

Friday, April 28, 2006

A Film That's "Catchy, Hip" and Grasping at Straws

A new independent film on the 9/11 tragedies is creating quite a buzz and fedding the fancies of conspiratorial types:

... (the film) says, among other things, that the Pentagon was hit by a cruise missile fired by the military as an excuse to go to war.

Called Loose Change, it is being downloaded from the Internet and shown in small screenings here and overseas. It is not alone in the genre, and it is not unusual in American history either to offer simplistic explanations or demonize opponents.

The film appears especially popular among young people immersed in a Web culture brimming with sites that question the credibility of government. They see 9/11 as the defining moment of their lives.

“This is our generation's Vietnam, our generation's Kennedy assassination,'' says Korey Rowe, 23, the film's producer. .... Made by Rowe and friend Dylan Avery, 22, from Oneonta, N.Y., on a laptop computer for less than $10,000, the film contrasts sharply with United 93, a film opening today that portrays the struggle for the jetliner that crashed in Shanksville, Pa.

... Most of what the film alleges is refuted by the evidence at hand. Anything not answered definitively by the government is interpreted by the film as proof of a coverup.

Among the assertions in Loose Change is that a missile hit the Pentagon even though eyewitnesses saw the jet, numerous pieces of wreckage were found including the flight recorder, and those on the flight and in its path at the Pentagon are dead.

There is also the claim that because jet fuel burns at up to 1,500 degrees and steel melts at 2,750 degrees, the World Trade Center's infrastructure could not have been brought down by the airliners. However, as reported by the Journal of the Minerals, Metals and Materials Society, steel loses 50% of its strength at 1,200 degrees, enough for a failure.

“The only thing they (the filmmakers) seem to have gotten right about the Sept. 11 attacks is the date when they occurred,'' says Debra Burlingame, whose brother was the pilot of American Flight 77 that crashed into the Pentagon.

... Some college students who saw Loose Change and are promoting it say it's good to raise questions. .... Christian Pecaut, 25, a Stanford graduate who is promoting the film at the University of California, Berkeley campus, said the film is “catchy, hip,” with an “upbeat soundtrack.”

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