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9/11 (2002)

Cast: Robert De Niro, Robert De Niro, Gedeon Naudet, more...
Director: James Hanlon, James Hanlon, Jules Naudet, more...
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Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Paramount
Genre: Documentary, Political & Social Issues
Running Time: 129 min.
Languages: English
    see additional details...

Telecast to coincide with the six-month "anniversary" of the horrific terrorist attack on New York's World Trade Center, the powerful and poignant two-hour CBS TV documentary 9/11 grew out of an independent film project inaugurated by French filmmakers Jules and Gedeon Naudet several months before the tragedy. Originally intending to produce an in-depth study of a "typical" American fireman, from the rookie training days to matriculation as a full-fledged firefighter, the brothers virtually lived in the headquarters of the F.D.N.Y.'s Engine Seven, Ladder One company. Thus it was that the Naudets were on hand to tape record the airliner "bombing" of both towers one and two on that fateful September 11 -- and even more dramatically, one of the brothers was able to record the hectic activities of the firefighters as they courageously went about their duties in the doomed lobby of tower one -- with only minutes to spare before both towers would collapse into a sickening mass of rubble. Although the more appalling examples of carnage are tactfully left unshown, such chilling vignettes as the offcamera sounds of crashing glass, indicating that another victim has jumped to his or her death from the uppermost heights of the twin towers, are left intact, obliging CBS to run a disclaimer in hopes of sparing the victims' loved ones any further anguish (too, the amount of understandable profanity spoken by the harried firefighters far exceeded anything ever heard before on mainstream American television). Telecast with only three commercial interruptions on March 10, 2002, 9/11 was dedicated to all the victims of the tragedy, with most of the proceeds going to the Uniformed Firefighter Association Scholarship Fund. The special garnered one of the highest ratings posted by CBS in years, with 38 million viewers tuning in. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Interesting even though timid. by PTSmith March 6, 2005 - 7:33 AM PST
2 out of 6 members found this review helpful
Well photgraphed and edited. Shies away from questioning the official view that the fires caused the collapse of the WTC towers (and building 7) despite testimony to the contrary in the interviews in this film.

It is clear none of the firefighters expected the collapse. There are many mentions of explosions; one firefighter mentions sequential explosions at each floor. Mentioned but not commented on in any way is that WTC 2 collapsed first even though it was hit second.

Also no mention that the much larger WTC fire in 1975 didn't cause a collapse, nor that there has never been a collapse of steel frame building due to fire, either before or since 9/11.

Be sure to watch the full interviews in the DVD extras; there's an especially interesting one where one of the firefighters says there weren't any desks or computers in the rubble; the largest piece he found was half a telephone keypad.

Eerie and moving by JDaly April 30, 2003 - 11:12 AM PDT
8 out of 8 members found this review helpful
A stunning film. One of the filmmakers was in the towers only moments after the first plane hit. The close-up action of the horror and the confusion is unforgettable. Particularly eerie is the sound of the bodies of those who jumped as they hit nearby. As one firefighter put it: "How bad must it have been up there if the better option was to jump?"

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 7.75)
57 Votes
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