Thursday, October 01, 2015
"The Space Between": a flight attendant takes care of a Muslim boy on 9/11 when the boy's father was killed in the WTC
“The Space Between” (2010) is a fictional drama of some of the possible personal consequences of 9/11, directed by Travis Fine, shown at Tribeca and then aired on the USA Network on 9/11/2011.
Melissa Leo plays Montine McLeod, a flight attendant with some interpersonal problems. She gets put on probation for chewing out a passenger for complaining about baby noise and leg room. On 9/11, she is grounded in Longview, TX, on the day that all planes were grounded for four days. Her job situation, somewhat unbelievably, requires her to take temporary guardianship of a particular minor passenger, Omar. Soon, she learns that Omar’s dad worked in New York. She embarks on a road trip, by bus (where they kicked off when Omar prays on the bus) and then a “used car lot” purchase to take Omar back to New York, and eventually to a school in Los Angeles. In New York, she learns that Omar's dad had been in the WTC when it fell. On her trip back to help him get to school in LA, she learns she has been fired from her job anyway.
Along the way, Omar encounters angry behavior from people over his appearance, and Omar points out that he is Pakistani and not Arab.
The script also makes reference to April 19, 1995, when apparently Melissa lost her husband in the OKC attack.
There is a discussion of “man’s free will” and the fact that some things happen are beyond the control of our choices.
I recall that on 9/11, when I was working in Minneapolis, a coworker flew from DC and did not learn of the attacks until landing in Minneapolis around the same time as the Pentagon attack. He rented a car to return home. I saw the film “L.I.E.” at the Lagoon Theater that evening, and met director Michael Cuesta, who was also stuck in the city until Friday. People lined up at gas stations for one evening, too.
The distribution and production company is “Inception”, oddly coincidental with the name of Christopher Nolan’s famous film.