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Last Updated: Friday, 2 June 2006, 07:15 GMT 08:15 UK
Brother welcomes United 93 tribute
By Ian Youngs
Entertainment reporter, BBC News

A film about United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed in Pennsylvania after being hijacked on 11 September 2001, has received the backing of passengers' relatives.

Film still of United 93 showing Corey Johnson (left) as Louis Nacke
Louis Nacke was portrayed (left) taking part in the passengers' revolt
"Knowing the outcome of the day, I found myself rooting for a different ending," Kenny Nacke says. "Hoping for a different ending. Thinking that they can succeed."

For the 45-year-old Maryland police officer, United 93 is not just a movie - it is a portrayal of the last two hours of his brother's life.

Louis J Nacke II - Joey to his family - was one of 40 people on the plane, which went down after passengers took on the hijackers before they reached their target.

Some critics have complained that after almost five years, it is still too early to portray 9/11 on the big screen.

But United 93's British director Paul Greengrass won the blessing of the families of most passengers and crew.

For Kenny Nacke, the film was a chance to pay tribute to his brother and remind the world not to let something similar happen again.

It didn't make them like they were in fear for their lives - they rose above their fears
Kenny Nacke
But his hope for a happy ending was not denial or naive wishful thinking.

"It's a horrific ending - it needed to be," he says. "But until it ends, the way he [Greengrass] filmed it made you believe that they didn't think they were going to die.

"It made me feel like there was a strong chance that they could win and re-take the plane over and land it safely."

That portrayal was "an honourable tribute to them", he says.

"It didn't make them [look] like they were in fear for their lives. They rose above their fears."

Director Paul Greengrass making United 93
Director Paul Greengrass (standing) won over passengers' families
Mr Nacke has been doing media interviews arranged by film studio Universal.

He had his reservations when Greengrass and his team first approached the families, objecting to their use of the word "victim".

"That just irritates the living heck out of me," he says.

"Granted, they are a victim of a crime. But I think to be truly a victim, you sit idly by and events happen to you.

"They kinda controlled their own destiny. They forced what happened."

But Greengrass won him over with his willingness to listen, his determination to make the film as accurate as possible and his intention not to focus on a few selected "heroes".

It's worth the pain, it's worth the sorrow to open your eyes that there is an individual out there named Joey Nacke
Kenny Nacke
"They made as factual a movie as they could," Mr Nacke says. "For the families that's what it's all about.

"[Greengrass] wasn't going to make a Hollywood movie. He wasn't going to glamorise the event or make our loved ones superheroes.

"He made them ordinary individuals - ordinary individuals doing an extraordinary deed."

In the film, the hijackers are seen trying to fly towards the Capitol building in Washington DC - one of the biggest bones of contention because their target can only be guessed at.

But the passengers - who have heard about the World Trade Center attacks on mobile phones - decide to try to regain control and the plane crashes in the struggle.

Emergency workers mark off the crash site of United Airlines Flight 93 near Somerset, Pennsylvania
Flight 93 crashed in a field in Pennsylvania on 11 September
Mr Nacke's brother, a 42-year-old toy distribution manager, is played by unknown actor Corey Johnson.

"I thank Universal and Paul Greengrass for giving me the opportunity to extend my brother's memory to a different continent," he says.

"It's worth the pain. It's worth the sorrow to open your eyes, or whoever chooses to read your article, that there is an individual out there named Joey Nacke and he was the oldest brother of four and he was loved and he was cherished."

But this film does not give him closure, he says - that will never be possible.

"You just make your peace with it and move on and try to do the best job that you can in seeing that the memory of my brother and those 40 individuals are remembered, cherished forever, for generations to come."

United 93 opens across the UK on Friday.

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12 Apr 06 |  Americas
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23 Jul 04 |  Americas
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09 Sep 02 |  Entertainment

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