Tonight I was able to get Screening Passes to see an early viewing of SULLY made possible by Sofrito for your Soul Media Group and Warner Brothers.
Sofrito for your Soul has a website that was established in 1997 to showcase what it is like to be Latino in America from a cultural perspective.
“We’ve lost both engines…” I don’t know much about aviation, but I can say with certainty that this is quite possibly the most terrifying thing a pilot can say. The equivalent to the line going flat, we have no pulse, call for backup, Houston we have a major problem….The plane is zooming by the NYC skyline- Flight 1549 is a mechanical fire in the sky. It bowling ball crashes into the skyscrapers. Considering NYC’s history with planes-the intro to the movie was already making my heart beat out of my chest. Thats definitely on the list of things NYer’s never want to experience again. It was 9/11 all over again, a nightmare that can paralyze anyone. And that’s exactly what it was- a nightmare. Captain Sully wakes up drenched in cold sweats in a hotel bed. Immediately we feel for him. Here is a hardworking, ex-military man who has been flying planes for 40 years, forced to make a 30 second decision that would impact at minimum 155 lives. Lucky for us, we already know this nightmare has a happy ending. Within the first five minutes of the movie the brilliant mind of Clint Eastwood (brilliant in producing movies not politics! lol) shows you the humanity behind his profession. Shows you how we always take work home with us, how even in those crucial moments we will doubt if we made the wrong decision, and how PTSD is not something a human resources or a union representative can fix.
Something else conveyed in the movie was the never ending battle of “man versus machine”. A 15 month investigation launched by the National Transportation Safety Board. The NTSB ruthlessly trying to prove that Captain Sully and his co-pilot had enough time to make it back to the airport. Sully came equipped with clapbacks for the NTSB and their data. No spoiler alert here, I’ll let you decide which party you think won?
Growing up, my brother wanted to be a pilot. The day came when we dropped him off at SUNY Farmingdale campus his freshman year. He grinned at me as we watched the small planes take off in the runway near the school. “oh my gosh! thats so scary.” I said, as I held onto his navy blue polo sweater, it was overwhelming seeing planes fly that close. He looked down at me and with a dimpled smile said “Nah Mela, Planes are too big to fail.”
SULLY puts the humanity back into the cockpit. Reminding us that pilots are people too. That they have families to go home to, that they have the responsibility of all the lives on board, that their power lies in one little red button and joystick to navigate an enormous vessel of aluminum through the sky. The next time I stroll into LGA I will remember the army of people that make my flight and safe arrival possible. I will wait with a little more gratitude and not anger when Delta delays yet another one of my flights as it sits on the tarmac. SULLY showed me that I’d rather get there safe above anything else. It demonstrated that we often forget about people who are part of our lives indirectly but that their actions are part of our ripple, that in such a fast paced commuting place like NYC a “delay is better than a disaster.”
HERE to listen:
“Not a crash- a water landing.”
“I bet my life on it…Engineers aren’t Pilots”
“40 years of experience yet we are relying on machines to tell us what is right and concrete?”
“You’ve taken the humanity out of the cockpit”
“Better a delay than a disaster.”
“Don’t be afraid to fly because when we do miracles happen.”