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Javnost - The Public, Vol. 17 - 2010, No. 3

The Narrative Reconstruction of 9/11 in Hollywood Films: Independent Voice or Official Interpretation?

, , , pages: 57-70

This study examines the relationship between Hollywood and American Politics by analysing two significant films about the September 11 attacks: United 93 and World Trade Center. The Bush Administration was undoubtedly aware that cinematic versions of history endure in the memory of people far better than other modes of historical explanation. In November of 2001, they sent Karl Rove, President Bush’s well-known political advisor, to Los Angeles to meet with Hollywood filmmakers. Rove clearly articulated the official, Washington DC, version of these attacks to his elite audience: the war should be fought on both a “military” and an “idea” front; the global problem of terrorism requires an international collaborative response; the principles of freedom and democracy must be heard over the totalitarian ideas of Islamic fundamentalists; and we are fighting against militant factions, not against Islam itself. The authors compare the official “narrative” expressed by Rove with the narratives of United 93 and World Trade Center in order to evaluate whether Hollywood echoed the voice of the Bush Administration or exhibited independence in their interpretations of September 11.

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