102 minutes that changed america.


Channel 4 has absolutely surpassed itself in screening this moving and extremely challenging documentary. For two hours, image after image took one’s breath away as we saw real (but mostly very high quality) video footage of the twin towers collapse from 8.45 am until 10 29 am.  Played sequentially with views from all angles including actually inside the towers it was heart stopping television.

I think one thing that made it so powerful was its lack of commentary and opinion.  It was not a political film, simply an unfolding of an event in something like real time.  Some might say it was the extremest form of voyeuristic television but I thought it was a work of true skill and, indeed, art.  I should make special mention of the constant but very subtle musical underscore, by Brendon Anderegg, which was quite beautiful.  Someone call the BAFTAs. (And the Academy, and the Emmys.)

Truly magnificent TV.

4 thoughts on “102 minutes that changed america.

  1. Just watched it on 4.com.

    However awful the scenario, it was fascinating to see the folks in apartments reeling in horror at the jumpers and the ash clouds making others run for cover and it felt almost like being in it with them. This was very similar to the movie Cloverfield coz of the hand-held action of panic and confusion.

    The music was more of a whistling siren leading to a haunting sombre underscore to forewarn you of a major impact moment (eg, before each tower collapsed).

    Interesting choice not to include either moment of impact with full images of the planes striking – the money shots, for want of a better phrase – like they did with the collapses (all 4 seen many times on youtube of course). The footage inside buildings was, I think, in WTC 5 and WTC 7, not actually either twin.

    Being a 9/11-footage junkie with many documentaries (yes, even the conspiracy ones) under my belt, not much to me was new, but I agree, this is a piece of art captured perfectly in reel/real time compared to all others; a triumph of editing.
    Some of the imagery was expertly woven with clever graphics from vid-cam footage – Bent and twisted metal road signs giving directions to WTC and in Times Square, people gawping gobsmacked at the news on big screens whilst “Today, 11th September” shot across the neon digital ticker-tape display above another neon digital ticker-tape display of “religious experience” – then seeing all the people following the same road outta there – to Damascus maybe?

    Most compelling and significant moment – on Staten Island, one young lady distraught and crying on the shoulder of her boyfriend and the footage switches to another lady nearby, a whole lot less distraught…… looking through her binoculars at the burning towers she says, in her perfect New York Yiddish accent, “Man, we should go to war…like…now”. Piqued and poignant, dear.

    A great piece of documenting of history – modern art of biblical proportions.

    The assassiantion of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the invasion of Poland, the rise of communism – every generation seems to have these “where were you?” moments that trigger wars – I was in Greece following the Hibees and they called the game off – suckeroonie!


  2. This was truley a thought out event and the consequences still go onwards today!
    America surely had some cleaning up to do and lost two beautiful towers that blown the city away, they will be truley missed!


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