only 3 of the evelen feature the WTC

The Brief is ingeniously simple: “create a film lasting eleven minutes, nine seconds and one frame around the events of September 11 and their consequences”.

In his book, Trevor Barr poses the question, what would the media be like is ownership was divided across a commercial owner, a trade union, conservationist group, a charity organisation, etc. The diversity of expression would be staggering. That idea of diversity of opinion is what this film seems to be attempting. There are many different perspectives to the events of September two years ago, and all are valid. These are just 11 of them.


Some of the films are based on true stories, some are almost documentaries, some are political and some are surreal but all are deeply personal. Noticeable are the number that centre on children, women, old people and disabled – not the sort of people that you imagine are responsible for the events, but instead those that have been affected by it. Because of the diversity, it is possible that not all of the films will appeal to everyone, infact some are almost contradictory in opinion. But that is the nature of diversity. A number of the filmmakers have chosen to set their entries in other countries, and only three of the eleven films actually use footage of the WTC collapse.

It is an entirely personal choice as to which are the better segments, but I found that the understated, and powerful because of it Mexican entry very moving. Special mention must go to Ernest Borgnine in the US segment. Borgnine first rose to fame as the lonely New Yorker in Marty (1955), and in this he could almost be reprising that Oscar winning character. There has been attention paid to the running order of the films to create a flow of moods.

Marty revisited

There can be no accident in the number of Arab and third world countries invited to participate in this project. With the blinkered and saccharine tributes from the USA itself, it is important to see the effect of American cultural hegemony on countries with different cultures.

All of the filmmakers chosen have directed successful features, which capture their native lands, and none of their efforts disappoint in this imaginative response to the events of September 11 in America. This really should be shown on television to commemorate the 2nd anniversary, but it is more likely that we will get a bunch of Americans actors and musicians paying tribute to their lost heroes.

There are no extras on this disc, which may be appropriate so as to not distract the viewer from the films themselves, but I would have liked to have some insight into the production of this project.

This is an imaginative and fitting tribute, and it is just fortunate that the events didn’t occur on 1 Jan 2001.