Updated: Greg Mitchell, editor of E&P has a great take on the ABC 9/11 fakeumentary and says it's incredibly flawed.
Mitchell: The screenwriter says it wasn't in the script, and it was improvised on the spot--he sort of liked the way it looked--it went over well when it was being filmed so they left it in. It seems like an appalling thing to admit for a film on such a serious subject.--It is definitely slanted against the Clinton administration...It does not hit the Bush administration much at all. So, ummm--I understand that they are probably editing it heavily now. It's interesting that they now say today that they said the complaints of the film are irresponsible because they're still editing the film. Yet, they were very happy to send out review copies. Reviews have already started to appear in magazines--certainly they thought it was finished enough at that time to send it to reviewers, but now they're saying it's irresponsible to critique the film when they're still editing. It's a well made movie, but it's incredibly flawed and raises real problems about how this subject is being tackled.
Full transcript below by Tracy:
Mitchell: It is that would be a matter of opinion, of course. There is no question that the film spreads some blame around . There is also no question that it is heavily weighted against the Clinton administration. One of the biggest problem is that the, there are as they say, composite scenes. But there are really no composite characters. So you have Madeleine Albright, you have sane Berger, the Clinton advisor, who are there under their own name. Clearly identified. And they're clearly the one in the film who likely let osama go. You have a real problem when you have actual real people who are getting finger point at them in which everyone would agree is the crime of the century.
Alison: Lets do a little bits of truth squatting, if we can. Since you've seen the movie. A few of the scene, one has former national security Sandy Berger refusing to give the go ahead to take out bin Laden. From your understanding, is this entirely accurate?
Mitchell: No. It is entirely made up. Which is one of the problem. The other thing, which actually just came out today was that the screenwriter admitted on talk radio on the west coast that this scene, while it was in the script, was partly improvised in the making of the movie. --and quite dramatically with Sandy Berger slamming down the phone and cutting off all communication on making this decision to go after Osama. And it is great cinema. Not only did it not happen. The screenwriter says it wasn't even in the script. And it was improvised on the spot. He liked the way it looked and it went over well in the, when it was being filmed so they left it in. It seem like an appalling thing to admit for a film on such a serious subject. Really on the most serious, most sensitive subject and mass murder. And to treat the facts that cavalierly seems to be the reason that ABC is under such pressure now to do a heavy editing job.
Alison: ABC has said, it is such a dramatic is there a place for this genre? Or is it too controversial when you're talking about real people with fictionalized dialogue and perhaps fictionalized event?
Mitchell: Well, again, you have to look at the event it is portraying. I go back a long way and i know docudramas have been on television for more than three decades. They're often controversies or disputes about the facts. This is a subject that is arguably the most important story that has hit America in all that time. And it would seem to demand special attention to the facts. To history. And to a toll absence of political bias.
Alison: You have a great point. I want to get to political bias. Since you've seen this film, did you sense any political bias in the film?
Mitchell: Well, again, we're introduced to this film. Review copy were sent to the conservative bloggers and conservative media. Talk radio people and so forth. They all praised it to the sky for really hitting the Clinton administration. So it kind of raises eyebrows right there. The same review copy were not sent to liberal bloggers or liberal Mideast critics. You kind of have your antenna up at that point. When we reviewed the review copy, again, it was clear that it is definitely slanted against the Clinton administration. And does not hit the bush administration much at all. Indiana that they're probably editing it now heavily. It is interesting, then complaints about the film are irresponsible because they are still editing the film. Yet they were very happy to send out review copy, reviews have already started appearing in magazines. Certainly they thought it was finished enough at that time to send it to reviewer. Now they're saying it is irresponsible to critique the film when they're still editing. And I'm sure they are editing. Since they are under pressure from former president Clinton, other Clinton official, and rich Clark, other people who are actually picture in the film.
Alison: And quickly before i let you go. We're running out of time. Is it a good movie?
Mitchell: As weapon in our story, it is it is very well shot. It is it is very interestingly done. There's some great camera work, some great editing. It is not a dull, you know, simple glossy typical TV movie. It is actually a well made film. But it is incredibly flawed and raises real problems about how the subject is being tackle.
Alison: Greg Mitchell, editor of the trade journal. Thank you so much for sharing your review with us. Thank you.