24 user 6 critic

The Hamburg Cell (2004)

A fictionalized account of the September 11 hijackers.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Maral Kamel ...
Mohammed Atta (as Kamel)
Aysel (as Agni Tsangaridou)
Ramzi bin al Shibh
Kamel Boutros ...
Mohammed Atta (as Kamel)
Tamer Doghem ...
Zacarias Moussaoui
Abdul Aziz AlOmari
Omar El-Saeidi ...
Said al Ghamdi
Mark Clifton ...
Flight Simulation Instructor
Salim (as Navíd Akhavan)
Joel Kirby ...
FBI Agent
Pan Am Instructor


Ziad Jarrah, a young Lebonese man from a good family goes to Germany to attend college and starts dating a Turkish girl named Aysel. Although not very religious and accustomed to Western ways, Ziad becomes "brothers" with some fundamentalist Muslims and is slowly drawn into becoming "a Good Muslim". Mohamed Atta and others instill Ziad with a hatred of Jews and "Infidels", which leads to a desire for Jihad and martyrdom. He moves to Hamburg to study aeronautical engineering, attends an Al-Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan, and deceives his girlfriend and family about his involvement. He eventually attends flight school in Florida with Atta and others, waiting for and preparing for "the big wedding" (the 9/11 attack). Meanwhile, US government and law enforcement officials fail to act despite believing that a major terrorist attack is imminent, and despite noticing a number of suspicious persons involved in flight training. Written by TimeNTide

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | War





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Release Date:

10 January 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A hamburgi sejt  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


When one of the hijackers looks into the cockpit he sees one of the pilots in the right seat who is wearing four stripes. Four stripes means Captain, and he sits in the left seat, not right. See more »


Ziad Jarrah: [On a cell phone] I'm at the departure lounge.
Marwan Shehhi: Me too.
Ziad Jarrah: Our time has come at last...
See more »


Written by Nick Phillips
Performed by Boxsaga
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User Reviews

Excellent chronicle, non-inflammatory except to the most extreme viewer
28 August 2004 | by See all my reviews

Dramatisation by renowned filmmaker Antonia Bird of the characters and events involved in the 9/11 attacks. The approach is very laid back, is statedly on the basis of three years research and 'known facts and events.' so is something of a chronicle. It avoids demising the hijackers (so such a film could probably never have been made in America) and Bird points out that not only were they real people, intelligent people, who devoutly believed what they were doing was the right thing, but that it is important for us to understand that and the how and the why. We see the main character as a highly intelligent man, seeking to become a better person by becoming a better Muslim, and thence drawn into the training group. Other factors like the American influence in Palestine (central in most Middle-East Muslims' minds) are mentioned briefly, but the story develops in a natural way - a young man joining those prepared to fight for Islam and 'do something worthwhile'. He switches studies to go to flight school and has perfect skills at 'blending' with westerners. The film is unsensational, but without proselytising for either 'side' manages to at least shed some light on the hijackers motives and mentality.

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