Five years after 9/11, Hollywood-that psychic barometer of America, has come up with 2 movies based on the traumatic event. The first in the series is United 93.The film named after the 4th hijacked plane, which crash onto a field in Pennsylvania-is a gripping docudrama recreated from transcripts recovered from the aircraft’s black box, the exchanges between the pilot and air control personnel, and the cell phone message to the passengers on the doomed flight to their families and loved ones. The second 9/11 film is Oliver Stone’s World Trade Center.
Arguments have also been used against the memorialisation of negative anniversaries such as 9/11 or the Jewish Holocaust. The ceremonising of death and destruction, turning the scars of history into calenderic stigmata, is sometimes said to be a peculiarly Judeo-Christian phenomena. Certainly in the case of holocaust, the reverberating injunction is “never forget”. Memory must forever speak; forever bear witness to the extermination of 6 million human individuals.
According to Freudian theory and practice the graveyard of the mind can be exorcised through the process, which is re-enactment and recollection of past human miseries, to come in terms with them. The history of western psychoanalysis shows that such psychic surgery can have harmful effects. Repressed memory turns traumatic, hysteria, schizophrenia and other problems erupt from the premature burial of the past.
Institutionalised breast-beating has its political and societal uses, for example, making the general public more amenable to the official curtailment of civil liberties, or to distract attention from governmental misadventures in other parts of the world. But its adverse effects of imposing the burden of collective masochistic suffering far outweigh any ancillary gains.
Through the above arguments we can pretty much understand the reason why west has a strong faith in reviving bad memories year after year. Their own logical reasoning behind it cannot be rejected as useless. And in a similar way each religion’s own way of dealing with the traumas.
By: Shivani Ghildiyal