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Stuyvesant HS alumni reflect on what happened on 9/11
This year marks the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and per the usual, there are a number of new documentaries to mark the occasion. One of those is this short documentary, now showing on HBO On Demand.
"In the Shadow of the Towers: Stuyvesant High on 9/11" (2019 release; 31 min.) brings the accounts of a handful of Stuyvesant High School kids (interviewed all these years later) who lived through the events of 9/11. As the documentary opens, we are given a very short introduction to Stuyvesant HS, located just a few blocks south of the World Trade Centers, and how it attracts the best and brightest kids from all over New York, with a particular emphasis on second generation immigrants: kids whose parents came to the US to pursue the American dream. Among the Stuyvesant kids we get to know, their parents hail from Ukraine, Pakistan, India, Korea, and yes, the Bronx (a foreign country--wink, wink--within the New York boroughs),
The first-hand accounts by those high school kids of what happened on 9/11 are gripping: a "swell of emotion" when the second plane hits the Towers, confusion whether it is safer to stay inside the building or to flee, etc. When you combine that with the still unbelievable camera footage of that day, it makes for compelling viewing (check the dust clouds mushrooming over Manhattan after the Towers crumble). "It was life-altering as a person and as a nation", comments one of them (all are now in their early-to-mid 30's). If there is one complaint that I have about this documentary, it is that at a mere half-hour, it easily could've been extended to an hour or even more, as each of the Stuyvesant are interesting to listen to, and I would've enjoyed more of these conversations.
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