Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Indiewire logo

"Surrender Monkey"- The German Who Didn't Fight Back on Flight 93?

ReelPolitik By Anthony Kaufman | ReelPolitik June 7, 2006 at 2:51AM

"Surrender Monkey"- The German Who Didn't Fight Back on Flight 93?
1

In my review of "United 93" awhile back, I pointed out the strange presence of "a German blond businessman who turns out as a stereotypically weak-kneed Euro-pacifist (an obvious non-American who is eventually neutralized)." The character stands in a stark contrast to the "American heroes" who fight back -- and his stereotypical attitude is finally getting noticed in Europe.

In an article in the Guardian titled "United 93 'surrender monkey' defends role in film," the actor who plays Christian Adams -- who was among those who died -- defended his role in the movie, arguing that "his cautious, pacifist stance was in keeping with Adams' own persona."

"He never made any rash decisions and everything he did was always well-considered," actor Erich Redman said. "I think he would have said, 'Let's not do this, let's be quiet, let's not interfere with [the terrorists], because once we have landed the authorities will take care of it. I think that's quite a reasonable thing to say." Redman added that Adams was "not one of those gung-ho Americans wanting to storm the cockpit and smash those people's skulls in."

But Adams's family was one of the few who did not participate in the making of the film and what he exactly did on the flight is completely unknown. "Surely one of the passengers didn't phone home to point out that there was a cowardly German on board who wanted to give in?" wondered the Sunday Times critic Cosmo Landesman

It's further evidence of how much the movie panders to American cowboy politics -- and reaffirms both American and E.U. stereotypes.