Falcone's Crossroads

Where This Meets That

Two “Must-Sees” on the 10th Anniversary of 9/11

On today’s sad commemoration of the terrorist attacks of a decade ago, the TV and Internet seem nearly as saturated with coverage as they were on that dreadful day.

Since 9/11, two particular films that deal with the tragedy rise to the top of the “must see” list.  Both successfully avoid any political slant and are worthy tributes to many of the heroes of that day.

9/11 – Jules and Gedeon Naudet, 2002

Filmmakers Jules and Gedeon Naudet were just blocks away from the World Trade Center on 9/11 filming a documentary about probationary firefighter Tony Benetatos when the first plane hit.

From there, the brothers separated.  One accompanied the firefighters who went to the towers; the other stayed at the station with Benetatos before eventually heading to the towers with another group of firefighters.

The film provides the closest thing to a first-person viewpoint on the courageous heroism at Ground Zero, where New York emergency workers suddenly found themselves running headlong into a war zone.

United 93 – Paul Greengrass, 2006

I had qualms about watching a theatrical film about 9/11, but reviews assured me that its aim was true.

United 93 gives a near real-time accounting of the events of that morning, culminating in the crew of this United flight 93 retaking the plane from the terrorists.

Greengrass makes every effort to depict the events as authentically as possible, using his imagination only where necessary.  The film’s cast of virtual unknowns, including several who reenacted their actual roles from that day, do an excellent job.

By film’s end, it’s impossible not to be stirred by this group of everyday people who found the fortitude to take control of their own fate that morning and, in the process, save an untold number of lives.

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This entry was posted on September 11, 2011 by in Books & Film, Philosophers' Row and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , .
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