BOATLIFT–a film about the extraordinary heroism of ordinary men

14 Oct

Sometimes a film speaks for itself. Today Culture Husband sent me a link to such a film.

BOATLIFT (11:57 min)  tells the little-known story of the spontaneous outpouring of humanity and compassion that rescued 500,00 people from lower Manhattan on 9/11/01. It is an documentary about the human instinct to help each other, to come together as a community. Every boat captain who speaks tells us that as he saw the planes hit, the smoke rise, the towers fall, his morality and his gut drew him toward the island. Knowing that all road and air egress from the island had been shut down, these ordinary men exhibited an extraordinary heroism–at first spontaneously and then answering the specific call of the Coast Guard. Hundreds of boats, all types and sizes, drew up to the bottom of the island and helped people escape the horror.  No one knew if there would be another attack and, yet, these men went right to the epicenter of the battle.

Don’t take my word for it. Watch it. Let me know what you think.

The voices of these ordinary men seem somehow to clash against the voices of polarized political vitriol that has muddied the airwaves this election season.  The presidential campaign seems more like a summer camp color war battle to me than an informed discussion of who might lead our country in the right direction.  To hear the pols tell it, each side is anti-American in some way.  I highly recommend BOATLIFT as a refresher course in what being American, and being human, should mean to us all.

Thank you, Tom Hanks, and the makers of BOATLIFT for using documentary film to tell this story so simply and powerfully.

BOATLIFT: Executive Producers Stephen Flynn and Sean Burke. Co-directed by Rick Velleu. Narrator: Tom Hanks


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