Surviving 9/11 DVD Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Feature 7.0
Video 8.0
Audio 8.0
Special Features 4.0
Total 6.8
Distributor: Madman
Running Time: 52 Minutes
Classification:
 M15+
Reviewer: Felix Staica

6.8


Surviving 9/11
 (2011)

It may be highly tempting to look for all sorts of meaning and symbolism in relation to the terrorist attacks of September 11 2001, given the very recent news that US forces found and killed al-Qaeda supremo Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, virtually one decade on from the attacks on New York’s Twin Towers which housed the meaning-laden World Trade Centre.

The internet has become a natural home for sceptics and conspirophiles of all stripes, perhaps explaining the calls to ‘see the body’ before some even contemplated the veracity of news of the death.

It’s reassuring then that the venerable National Geographic label should go back and, with a documentary microscope, look at the lives of surviving Americans and the changes they could not escape. Some of these people include a female office worker, a blind male office worker and his guide dog, a woman whose first day of work was at the Pentagon, the guy in charge of the US Federal Aviation Administration, a police officer, a fireman and a photo-journalist.

With their to-camera testimony and other material, writer/director Allison Argo is able to stitch together the story of the doomed flights and the sheer shock and scrambling evident from the first impact onward. Most interesting for me was that the US FAA was not able to communicate directly with the air force like I had presumed.

There are also some arresting images I had never seen before. It is the kind of sight that remains heart-stopping even 10 years on, at least for me and others who remember where they were and what they were doing. Perhaps the best aspect of Surviving 9/11 is its putting a comprehendible, human face on an overwhelming event. Seeing the towers implode is an awe-full handful of seconds: connecting it to the people we know must have perished in them is a whole other thing, and this documentary helps to achieve that.

As a bonus feature, there is a second documentary, also of some 50 minutes. Sadly, it is cheesy and alarmist, with its fixation on hypothetical solutions for hypothetical attacks. I didn’t get much out of it but it is very generous of the DVD-makers to include it nonetheless.






 
 



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