This morning's Variety reported that Universal, along with Brian Grazer and Ron Howard's Imagine Entertainment, has acquired the rights to The School, an article in June's Esquire Magazine about the September, 2004 terrorist takeover of School #1 in Beslan, Russia. They plan to turn the story into a fiction film, with Grazer producing. According to Grazer, The School "captures for the first time the human aspect of a horrendous event." Which he can believe only if he's read and seen nothing about the story except that one article -- hell, even Three Days in September, a thin, American cable doc on the event clearly conveys the individual human suffering that was central to the siege. And come on -- how can a tragedy in which over 300 people, most of whom were children, died NOT have a "human aspect?" Give me a freaking break, Grazer.

Maybe I'm just a pansy who is too wrapped up in Russian history and culture, but I haven't heard about a feature film that made my stomach crawl this much in a while, particularly given how totally clueless Grazer obviously is about the actual event. What good could possibly come out of the Hollywoodization of a tragedy so huge it's often called "Russia's 9/11?" I realize that United 93 has been praised and appreciated by those who have seen it, but it was made five years after the events it depicts, and by an American studio. So why don't we just let Russia deal with Beslan in its own time, in its own way?