12 January 2005 | hanskauf
How far is New York
The dramatic pattern of various loosely connected stories of different people has given us a few remarkable films lately, like the Mexican AMORES PERROS or LICHTER (lights) from Germany. September can be compared to them, although here the stories are related to a common background, which is September 11th 2001. So we see a lot of TV-screens with news and statements, occasionally taken 1:1 on the movie screen.
Germany, September 2001. Among the portrayed people we have a broker who deals on a daily basis with colleagues in the WTC, his wife leading an unfulfilled life in their luxury home. He wants divorce. A policeman of the anti-terrorist force wants to sell his 1967 Corvette, materialized American dream to him. He sort of takes personal the terrorist assault. A mixed couple, he Pakistani, she German, both working in a Pizzeria. When the crash happens, the woman cannot stand her husband not expressing his feelings she doubts, if he as a Muslim feels for the victims.
Humour is scarce but intelligently employed in the movie. The funny part belongs to a journalist fighting to write his article on the terrible events. When his girlfriend bursts in, she gives him an intellectual statement, which makes him change his mind and his article. You'll have to wait a bit for the point.
All these couples have their own relationship-conflicts. The film is on the impact of media suffering, placing it against the personal problems of the characters. The heaviest statement comes from the broker, who tells his wife: "You have no right in their suffering, it's their own." Do we maintain too much distance to unknown people's hardships, or too little? How do we deal with media realities?
These are justified and topical questions, and September accomplishes some reflection about them. The script works well, although it is far from the brilliance of LICHTER. Acting is immaculate. What I didn't like is the stylish camera, with close-ups that expose the protagonists and resemble certain TV-techniques. More distance would have been better. Anyway it is worth watching, I give it a 7.