‘9/11: Minute by Minute’ Remembers the Tragedy Twenty Years Later
Twenty years ago the United States saw the worst attack on its soil in the nation’s history. A new documentary from EM Productions aims to explore the events of “September 11th 2001, the day America was under siege”. The film is called 9/11: Minute by Minute, and it recreates the events of September 11th with the support of official audio recordings, archival footage, and reenactments.
There have been scores of films about September 11th in the past. The terrorist attack has been the source material for movies, documentaries, and television specials, many of which investigate the inception of the plan and the means by which it was carried out. 9/11: Minute by Minute looks instead to capture the lived reality that first responders, victims, and the nation at large experienced on that day.
After twenty years, this new documentary brings a deep understanding of how the events of September 11th played out over the course of the day. The film is a somber but necessary reminder of “the darkest day in American history”.
Brought to life
Writer, director, and editor Piers Garland brings a unique artistic vision to this documentary. This is far from Garland’s first documentary, and he uses his experience here to handle delicate material with equal parts respect & insight. The film uses an elegant mix of archival footage and reenactments to marry in a way that generates an intimate connection to the events for his audience.
Beyond the footage shown, 9/11: Minute by Minute also makes excellent use of archival audio from the day of the attack. Official recordings from the FAA, airlines, military, and first responders bring genuine urgency to the events playing out on screen. They also give the film’s audience exposure to aspects of the attacks that might have been glossed over in the past, in addition to bringing a real authority to the film.
On a roll
EM Productions is based in the U.K., and the company is in the process of releasing a slew of documentaries focusing on important cultural moments in U.K. and U.S. history. They are partnering with experts in the genre to produce quality documentaries that expose a whole new generation to historical events they may otherwise have little contact with.
9/11: Minute by Minute walks a thin tightrope, exploring events that had deep historical & emotional impact. The film approaches the September 11th attacks with an appropriately somber tone, but it also doesn’t shy away from offering a brutally honest portrayal of how the attacks played out. The reenactments are not overly dramaticized, and instead the film creates most of its lived urgency with archival audio.
The documentary won’t make for a relaxing night at the movies, but it gives an important perspective on one of the most impactful events in modern history. The film gets its strength by sticking to exactly what it promises: digging through the events of the September 11th terrorist attacks, minute by minute. As the day ends, so does the film, and its audience will be richer for watching it.
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