Saint of 9/11
Directed by Glenn Holsten
IFC, opens September 6, IFC Center
And so the teary, elegiac movie-stories from the war zone of 9-11 continue, each simultaneously fevered with wounded mourning and jockeying for position as the martyrdom tale of the day. Mychal Judge, the popular gay FDNY chaplain who perished in the fallen towers and was the day's first official casualty, has been so designated by this treacly, worshipful doc, something he would surely have deemed ridiculous. But filmmaker Glenn Holsten sells it to the cheap seats anyway, fleshing out Judge's alcoholic struggles and his redoubtable activist work with mega-dramatic gimmickry and sentimental hosannas. One wonders if Holsten, whose work consists almost entirely of gay documentaries, would've been as genuflective to Judge if the Franciscan monk had been straight, or if the film would've been made at all, but sex, in any case, has nothing to do with the memory of this kindly, round Irishman who did such somber and necessary work for civil rights, AIDS victims, and the city's firemen.