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Shades of 9/11, This Time in Los Angeles

 

Friday, August 24-------Anyone who was in New York on the decisive date of September 11, 2001 will certainly be moved and shaken by some of the footage in the new film RIGHT AT YOUR DOOR. This doomsday thriller, written and directed by Chris Gorak, looks at the aftermath of a dirty bomb attack in Los Angeles, that leaves the city under a toxic haze. The long shots of the downtown area shrouded in billowing smoke certainly brings back unsettling memories of the World Trade Center disaster.

We are continually told by President Bush that if we do not fight the terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan, we will have to fight them in America's cities. While most strategists consider that vainglory militarism and a poor excuse for fighting an unpopular war, the grain of truth of just how vulnerable we still are almost 7 years after 9/11 makes this prediction have some eerie viability. While the source of the exclusions in Los Angeles is never fully explained in this film, it is presumably the work of terrorists out to leave another scar on the American psyche.

The film wisely focuses on the effects of the attack on one household. Brad (Rory Cochrane) is safe at home when the blasts occur but his wife, Lexi (Mary McCormack), is caught in the ashen nightmare while on her way to work. When instructed by the radio to seal up the house with duct tape, Brad must face an agonizing decision about what to do when the contagious Lexi returns home. The film's central moral dilemma, plus its superb cinematography and naturalistic acting, bring a you-are-there authenticity to the proceedings, which are a mix between a waking nightmare and a Twilight Zone episode.

The film, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, won a Best Cinematography Award for its director of photography Tom Richmond. Like previous docudramas on the 9/11 attacks, it is hard to be sure if audiences will want to see its darkest nightmares realized on the screen, or will be attracted to both the subject matter and the execution. As effective filmmaking on a limited budget, RIGHT AT YOUR DOOR is the real McCoy, and well worth your attention. The film opens today via Roadside Attractions, with a wider release expected in the coming weeks.

Sandy Mandelberger, Coming Attractions Editor

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About Coming Attractions

Sandy Mandelberger
(International Media Resources)

Previews of Upcoming Films, Videos and New Media Coming To Theaters, Festivals, DVD and the Internet.


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