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WTC - The First 24 Hours
WTC - The First 24 Hours
Actor: Etienne Sauret
Genres: Documentary
NR     2002     0hr 40min

Beginning with the North Tower afire and billowing dense smoke, and ending with the vast expanse of ash-brown debris the following morning, WTC: THE FIRST 24 HOURS documents "ground zero" in the immediate aftermath of the ...  more »


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Movie Details

Actor: Etienne Sauret
Genres: Documentary
Sub-Genres: History
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 06/25/2002
Original Release Date: 01/01/2002
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2002
Release Year: 2002
Run Time: 0hr 40min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Missed the ball...
Scott P. Morin | Riverside, RI USA | 06/28/2002
(1 out of 5 stars)

"I agree with what some of the other reviewers said. I bought it expecting what I found but ALSO expected to see the footage of the planes crashing, the buildings collapsing, the smoke plume rushing through the streets and people running. I wanted this to be a full capturing of the emotions I (and the whole country) felt that day that I could show my kids someday as a true historical record of a tragic event. Sadly, what I got was about 28 minutes of people walking through dust and debris covered streets. Save your money and wait for this one to be done right."
Stark, Minimalist, Unsettling...
Arthur Dent | New York, NY | 06/13/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This piece is very effective, doubly so because it doesn't attempt to editorialize...we don't have narrators reading portentous hyperbolic melodramatic drivel, no manipulative music trying to tell us how to feel...what we have are stark, live-audio-from-the-site images, covering the first 24 hours after the explosion. The confusion, the eerie silence, the destruction...the images do the talking, not self-involved all builds to a solitary firefighter, searching for survivors, standing on a huge pile of rubble, calling out "is anybody there", only to be answered in silence. That image, disturbing in both its simplicity and the horror it speaks volumes about, was a brilliant editorial choice as a music or editorializing needed, thank you. This is a historical document, pure and simple."
Short, but successful in presenting the physical aftermath
Arthur Dent | 10/30/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This video does what most of the others do not (except for the French/CBS "9-11"), and that is portray what the city looked and sounded like in the hours following the collapse of the towers.It needs to be acknowledged that this shows ONLY the physical aftermath of the disaster. This does not capture any of the stories behind those who were there, or those who witnessed the attack. There is no portrayal of the emotional aftermath. At the time the video was shot, there was already a "lockdown" on the city. Thousands of people like me, who escaped the WTC and walked home, were unable to take public or private transportation back to Manhattan for at least 48 hours. Technically, the streets of Manhattan were open north of Canal Street, but no car service was willing to take me from Brooklyn to Manhattan for fear of not being able to leave Manhattan once they got there. And full subway service from Brooklyn to Manhattan was restored only on Thursday, 9/13. So this video shows us what those who remained in lower Manhattan would have seen and heard - and that was dust and silence, respectively. That might be boring to those who expected this to portray more of the attack or the detailed activities and words of the rescue and recovery workers. However, this documentary keeps all other people at a distance from the camera. I wonder if that was intentional, but in any case, the effect is that this video makes you feel as if you have just dropped into the WTC neighborhood, and you are free to walk around and view the destruction at ground-level. The video takes up to areas that were under heavy police security, such as the shattered Winter Garden at the WFC (World Financial Center). It takes us to a Health Club on Rector Street. It takes us to West Broadway, Vesey Street, Church Street, Broadway, and Fulton Street, to name a few. If you live in NYC or know the area, this video will give you a quick tour of the streets that surrounded the WTC's 16-acre footprint. I find it refreshing and wise that this video does not have narration, music, interviews, montages, or any politicians promoting themselves (Rudy!) or any flag-waving. I think I'm in the minority when I say this, but I feel that most of the DVD's on this event are somewhat exploitative and feature music and narration that intends to provoke an emotional response, which I feel is somewhat manipulative. If TV commercials tell us what to buy and how to live, what do we do when a news documentary tells us how to feel? And some news organizations have used this as a PR vehicle. That CNN "America Remembers" DVD is virtually a self-promotional product for the network. And HBO's "In Memoriam," while featuring a lot of excellent material, still features segments that belong to the world of TV Commercials, not documentaries. The interview with Giuliani looks like something he would produce if he ever ran for national office. The documentaries on the towers (NOVA, Discovery Channel) have been first-rate. And the "9-11" documentary has the best of everything - story, drama, the timeline of that day, and the "you are there" feel.However, this short video has the best videography. There are some shots here that are as good as any photograph. The collapse of what was my building, 1 WTC, is captured better here than in all the videos and news footage I have seen. And the sound of the crowds below shrieking was just as I remember it. The "sunrise" shots of the WTC's steel facade (the exterior "lattice") are also memorable here. If you are looking for a video that just captures how the neighborhood looked and sounded after the attack, this is the video you want."
WTC - First 24 Hours
Andrae Garavito | Death Valley | 03/09/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)

"This is a good film about the aftermath of the WTC collapse. It was not nearly as bad as some reviewers have made it out to be. The audio and video quality of the material is great. Speaking for myself, I actually liked the fact that this particular 9/11 film had no commentary & music. What you see is what you get, and unfortunately, this video is in the like-it-or-leave-it catagory. This program is definetly not for everybody. If you can't stand watching a real-life caught-on-tape video without narration & music, then you will not like WTC - First 24 Hours. As for me, my main complaint about the film is that it wasn't long enough. The film is just 47 minutes and should've been longer and had more footage of the actual attacks themselves. Oh, well, it was still a decent film. In the very first scene, you get to see the explosion of the second plane crashing into the South Tower, and you see two people jumping from the North Tower on the right side of the screen. Then it shows both towers collapsing from the same camera angle. Then from there, it's nonstop footage of the aftermath. You'll see how Manhatten was transformed into a nuclear winter; buildings fluttered with debris, the streets caked in white ashes and paper, damaged buildings, crushed cars & trucks, and 3 billion pounds of concrete, rubble, and steel covering the WTC site.

If you're expecting a historical document about the actual attacks themselves, then don't watch WTC - First 24 Hours. In Memoriam - New York City - 9/11/01 is the one that you would want to see. It shows footage of the attacks, people jumping, interviews, the pandemonium, the collapse, and the aftermath.
WTC - First 24 Hours doesn't document the actual attacks themselves, but rather, the aftermath. The footage speaks for itself."