By Fred Topel | Image property of respective holders
Please Remove Your Shoes
This is an issue I’m really into. I go through all the motions and cooperate with airport security, but I don’t buy it. The only safety I feel is just that I make unstrategic trips. I would like to see the U.S. wise up. Even broader than just the issue of one type of security, we should stop humoring systems that pay lip service and demand actual solutions. And this expose on airport security is sort of being buried. They’re only selling the DVD from their own site, here.
Review: Please Remove Your Shoes
As Please Remove Your Shoes shows, the real problems have been hidden behind the scenes. Don’t worry about travel size bottles and shoes. It’s worse than you know. Air marshal testing is disturbingly lax. Their misguided obsession with a dress code is maddening.
Did you know that basic security testing has been outright ignored? You quickly get a sense that keeping a job is more important to security agencies than the actual job they’re supposed to be doing. It’s a typical perspective of big business. “We know what we’re doing. Just listen to us.” It’s all theory but doesn’t work in practice, and it’s all for appearance.
My favorite airport security story was a guy who managed to hide box cutters in airports after security checkpoints, to prove that the new system wouldn’t even stop another 9/11. That guy was doing a national service. I saw that story get swept under the rug. It’s not in this documentary and I can’t even remember the guy’s name now. The film does feature other expose’s I had not known about before.
One smart traveler found himself being detained by aggressive security people, and decided to record the interrogation on his iPhone. Now he knew what he had to say to get out of there and be on his way, but he let the security guards hassle him and hassle him so there would be a record of their inane waste of time. God bless that man for enduring on principal.
The basic filmmaking is standard documentary with talking heads intercut with demonstrative footage. They got a surprising amount of material at airports, at security where I didn’t think you could film. They do some re-enactments, and visualize some metaphors like an overflowing bathtub. It’s not the most dynamic film, but it’s not trying to entertain. This is pure information and call to action.
There were a few questions I would have liked them to address. Have they actually caught any shoe suspects in the last nine years? I mean, has one person taking off their shoes led to any kind of prevention or incident? Some more details on the basic aspects of security would be nice.
Unfortunately, the only suggestions the film offers are administrative. It’s how to make the system that runs security better, but how about some suggestions for actual superior security measures? Well, I guess this is the first step to making some change.