Filmmaker Steve McCarthy explores the meaning of heroism by discovering the life of his friend, Captain Paddy Brown, New York's most decorated fireman who died on 9/11. McCarthy starts with Brown's incredible acts of heroism, saving people from flames, breathing life into fire victims. Eventually, McCarthy finds a more complicated subtext: Brown's childhood in an alcoholic home, his abuse by priests, his rape at age 13, his traumatic tour of duty as a Marine in Vietnam, his string of lovers. Paddy emerges as a classic hero, one profoundly flawed and driven to acts of bravery by complex motives, including a drive for penance, self-destruction, and the creation of his own legacy.
Ultimately, Captain Brown seeks inner peace and in the course of that quest touches innumerable lives. At his moment of redemption, he climbs the stairs of the North Tower and dies comforting burn victims on an upper floor.
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One of a kind
- Thomas Kennedy Jr
An Inspiring Life
Have not read print version
Paddy Brown. From difficult beginnings, and although stumbling along the way it would seem that Paddy Brown's life was one of self discovery and awareness of his place in the world.
Steven McCarthy told a moving story well but without being over sentimental.
Right from the beginning, and punctuated through the story, the listener becomes aware of how valued is the man Paddy Brown through actual messages left by his friends, lovers, neighbours and colleagues on his phone answering machine as they become concerned for his safety.
I thought it was a story well told of a man whose life had such a positive impact on those who knew him.