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July 16, 2006
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New York-area police, firefighters first to see new Sept. 11 movie

The Associated Press

NEW YORK- Police and firefighters who risked their lives at the World Trade Center site are attending private screenings of Oliver Stone's new Sept. 11 movie, but one police union is warning the experience could be too traumatic for the rescuers.

Stone's movie, called "World Trade Center," stars Nicolas Cage as one of two Port Authority of New York and New Jersey police officers who survived the twin towers' collapse and were rescued from the rubble after 22 hours. It opens nationwide Aug. 9.

Police and firefighters have been invited to free private screenings at area multiplexes this week, the New York Post reported Sunday.

One of the film's co-producers, Michael Shamberg, said about 50 officers have seen the movie in the last month.

"Emotionally, it's important that these men and women have the opportunity to see the film first, though only if they feel comfortable," he said.

The union representing Port Authority police officers wants ground zero rescue workers to be aware that the movie could cause post-traumatic stress disorder. Symptoms of the condition include depression, mood swings and panic attacks.

Scott Strauss, a 43-year-old former New York police officer who arrived at ground zero just after the collapse of the second tower, said that while the movie was emotional he didn't think it would "push people over the edge."

Strauss, who is portrayed in the movie by actor Stephen Dorff, said he saw the film about a month ago with his wife and others.

"It was a great movie," said Strauss, who served as a paid consultant for the film. "It was gripping. It was emotional."

Strauss, who retired in 2004 and works in corporate security, said the movie "gave you a good perspective on what people caught in the collapse went through."

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On the Net:

World Trade Center movie: http://www.wtcmovie.com






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