Posted: 31 Aug 2011 07:30 PM PDT
I was determined not to—once was enough—and then I was walking past the IFC Film Center this afternoon and . . . (the following copied from Facebook, where I sometimes write when I think I have something to say too brief for blogging; in this case I was wrong).
Impulse-bought a ticket to see "Rebirth." What did it was probably oblique personal connection to the late FDNY Capt. Terry Hatton, whose friend is one of those interviewed. His wife was Mayor Giuliani's personal assistant Beth Petrone; her brother was the publicist we'd hired b/c I had an article abt J coming out in Oprah's magazine (it appeared 9/10/2001).
Small, silver lining: Hatton and Petrone had been trying to conceive; afterwards, she discovered she had, & daughter Terri was born the following year.
The movie is very, very good and very moving in the parallels it finds between the rebuilding of bodies, lives, and buildings — in all cases a halting, back-and-forth process, more complex than you might expect. The people whose lives were followed through the years from 2001 to 2009 were amazingly brave about revealing their emotions. This was sort of the premiere and the filmmakers were there to answer questions, as well as two of the principals. After the film I felt absolutely compelled to stay and talk to Terry Hatton's friend, Tim Brown, which was absurd because my connection to the family was so tenuous, but they were "my" 9/11 family nonetheless. Terri Hatton is "doing great" and still has on her wall cut-out heads of Miley Cyrus, Justin Timberlake — and Tim Brown! The film will be at IFC film center down the block from me for some weeks and will air on Showtime on or around 9/11.
There's also a marvelous middle-aged Chinese-American woman in the film, Ling, who was very badly burned and went through 40 surgeries trying to regain freedom of movement constricted by terrible keloid scarring. In spite of everything, she is FUNNY. She was there and I got to tell her she was my hero because she was funny. And I got to point out to her that when she got up her "reserved" sign was stuck to the seat of her pants, which was very much in her spirit.
This is the way to remember 9/11 — not static but dynamic.
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