The Falling Man is a documentary that examines one of the many images that were circulated by the press immediately after the attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11th, 2001. The ... See full summary »
This unprecedented and exclusive insider's account by filmmaker James Hanlon and Gedeon and Jules Naudet of the World TradeCenter attack, which contains the only known footage of the first ... See full summary »
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On September 11, 2001, filmmaker James Hanlon and Jules and Gedeon Naudet were filming a documentary on a rookie New York City firefighter when they noticed a plane overhead. That plane would hit the World Trade Center. They rushed immediately to the scene. James Hanlon and the Naudets filmed throughout Sept. 11 and the days afterward from the firemen's perspective, as it became clear to them that this was the only known footage from inside the Twin Towers that day. Written by
Brian Henke <Cincy43235@aol.com>
I was one of many that expected to see a glorified, Yankee-doodle dandy portrayal of a day that (as famously quoted) should live in infamy, rather than glory. How wrong I was. These guys were there, right in the middle of it, and the pictures they returned are both amazing and heartbreaking. And yet it all occurred on a chance trip to the world trade centre on September 11, 2001.
Two French filmmakers were compiling a documentary about life as a NY firefighter, particularly from the perspective of a young rookie coming up through the ranks. At the beginning we see much of this footage, just to remind us that there was no thought to producing a film about terrorism. This was intended to be a film about regular people earning an honest living helping others, and the beauty of the film is that it never loses this edge.
While investigating a suspect gas line (I think, my memory's a little hazy on that), we suddenly hear a plane fly overhead. The camera pans up to reveal a commercial jet torpedoing itself into one of the towers. What must the cameraman have been thinking at this time? Recognising the importance of the footage the camera stays on, and possibly realizing the same thing, the FDNY allow the camera to follow them into the building.
What follows is a true view from the front-lines. We see the commitment of the FDNY, their reactions (the stunned silence after hearing the first person fall to their death is chilling) as well as the collapse of the one of the buildings from the inside, while a second camera captures the events from the outside.
If it wasn't for the horrific event they were covering, the footage alone would be any young doco-maker's dream come true. Quite simply, the footage deserves to be preserved for all time. But what really sets this film apart is the genuine humanity that it brings to the viewer. We see firefighters charging in without hesitation, people of different races helping one another escape to wave of rubble and even the concern of the filmmakers for one another (they are brothers) as they cannot reach one another in the confusion. There are amazing sights as well as amazing human stories in this film, something Hollywood could never duplicate (even though it's trying).
9/11 isn't a film about politics. Nor is it a film about religion, nationality or even jihad for that matter. 9/11 is a film about people, and a true indication of the best and worst that we are capable of. 9/11 is quite simply one of the most important films I've ever seen, and would be the only film to be born from this event if it were up to me. You can't duplicate this.
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