COPILOT – Review by MaryAnn Johanson

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I told myself I wasn’t gonna go down any 9/11 rabbit holes for this 20th anniversary, when I knew retrospectives and rethinks would be in obnoxious, unavoidable full swing. I don’t need any reminders of a day that is seared into my memory, and will be for the rest of my life.

But I made a few exceptions. One was for Copilot, the third feature film from German writer-director Anne Zohra Berrached, cowritten with Stefanie Misrahi. This is the inspired-by-fact but mostly imaginary tale of the romance between Saeed (Roger Azar) and Asli (Canan Kir), medical students who meet and fall in love in Hamburg in the mid 1990s. The film keeps its cards very close to its vest, but Saeed is clearly meant to be Ziad Jarrah, the hijacker-pilot who would later be at the controls of United 93 when it crashed — when, possibly, he deliberately crashed it — in a Pennsylvania field on that horrible day. And Asli is an analog for his girlfriend, Aysel Şengün. Continue reading…

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MaryAnn Johanson

MaryAnn Johanson is a freelance writer on film, TV, DVD, and pop culture from New York City and now based in London. She is the webmaster and sole critic at, which debuted in 1997 and is now one of the most popular, most respected, and longest-running movie-related sites on the Internet. Her film reviews also appear in a variety of alternative-weekly newspapers across the U.S. Johanson is one of only a few film critics who is a member of The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (the Webby organization), an invitation-only, 500-member body of leading Web experts, business figures, luminaries, visionaries and creative celebrities. She is also a member of the Online Film Critics Society. She has appeared as a cultural commentator on BBC Radio, LBC-London, and on local radio programs across North America, and she served as a judge at the first Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Film Festival at the 2003 I-Con, the largest SF convention on the East Coast. She is the author of The Totally Geeky Guide to The Princess Bride, and is an award-winning screenwriter. Read Johanson's recent articles below. For her archive, type "MaryAnn Johanson" in the Search Box (upper right corner of screen).