Title: Loose Change – Final Cut
Run Time: 129 Minutes
Publisher: Louder Than Words, LLC
Loose Change Final Cut represents a refreshing approach to the documentary film in that, like mature software, it has been conspicuously updated over several years. Filmmaker Dylan Avery released the original 9/11 documentary in 2005 and the film underwent a second revision (Loose Change Second Cut) before the third and final release. Film updates were spawned by expanded information as well as user feedback and creative tweaking.
Chances are youâ€™ve heard many 9/11 theories, spewed emphatically by the same kind of person who thinks the moon landing was faked and that Martians are watching us. No doubt this tin-foil crowd will enjoy Loose Changeâ€™s systematic dissection and indictment of the governmentâ€™s flaccid response to 9/11. However, the movie goes beyond Bush-bashing to provide evidence supplying many post-9/11 questions that still havenâ€™t been adequately addressed by public officials or commissions. Among them:
- If an airplane hit the low-lying Pentagon, how did it manage to score a direct hit and not leave much debris larger than a color printer? How was this advanced maneuver accomplished by a hijacker pilot whose piloting skills were so poor that American flight instructors openly questioned the validity of his commercial license?
- If Flight 93 really went down via internal scuffles between passengers and hijackers then how come the wreckage was spread out much further than similar plane crashes in recent history?
- Why was the US government seemingly disinterested news of money wire transfers from high ranking Pakistani ISI members to alleged hijacker Mohammed Atta – even though these transfers took place just before the terrorist attacks?
- How could Americaâ€™s sophisticated air defense system, now known to engage in war games simulating attacks nearly identical to the 9/11 incidents, fail to intercept airborne threats four times in the same morning?
To address these questions, Loose Change presents a plethora of news clips, expert interviews, graphical recreations and witness testimony, convincingly challenging the “official” version of events that lead up to and succeeded the attack on the twin towers. The film typically stops short of pointing the finger exclusively at any one entity and instead leaves the evidence hanging for viewer debate, with the main exception being the Zeitgeist-like call to arms at the close of the film.
Loose Change Final Cut has several powerful moments that give pause to even the strongest skeptic. About 2/3 the way through the film, discussion turns towards WTC tower #7, which collapsed several hours after the twin towers collapsed. WTC #7 contained offices for the IRS, SEC, Secret Service and most interestingly New Yorkâ€™s Office of Emergency Management Command Center (which is supposed to be bullet-proof, bomb proof, and self-generating when need be). A British film crew reported that the tower had also fallen, succumbing to what appeared to be superficial fires. However, the tower is clearly shown standing in the background as the female reporter continues to speak about its collapse. Apparently CNN and BBC made the same mistake â€¦
While not entirely one-sided in its approach, Loose Change could have nonetheless benefited from more attention to contrary evidence and non-conspiratorial alternatives. For example, Avery uses collapse times to prove that the twin towers were felled by an explosion rather than the impact of a plane â€“ the time-lapsed implosion of the towers is shown to be consistent with the free-fall that would result from a building demolition. This evidence is offered as a refutation of the theory that diesel fueled fires caused the tower’s tube-like structure to loosen and disintegrate. However, the film does not address the popular alternative theory that the collapse of a single floor started a domino effect that resulted in a disintegration that just happened to be consistent with the timing of a free fall. Imagine you are standing on the upper of two planks of wood, both suspended by concrete blocks. Chances are you will not go through the first plank with you are standing still. Now imagine yourself jumping up and down on the upper plank â€“ you could crash through the wood, albeit a little slower than you would sink if you had no resistance; however, the combined weight of yourself plus the wooden plank would cause greater strain on a second plank of wood below the first plank, etc. In other words, the diesel fuel or impact could have caused 1 or 2 floors to collapse, with the increasing weight and velocity speeding up the collapse of the entire structure.
In any case, Loose Change Final Cut is effective as a catalyst to debate. Some of my (unwitting) test audience used the evidence presented to unleash their strongest condemnations against George W. Bush and his â€œimperial warâ€. Others were highly skeptical and offered unsolicited explanations backing the official versions of certain events. What my test subjects all had in common was a strong opinion and any filmmaker that can accomplish such with todayâ€™s increasingly desensitized moviegoers deserves a pat on the back.