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September 11
September 11
Actors: Maryam Karimi, Emmanuelle Laborit, Jérôme Horry, Nour El-Sherif, Ahmed Haroun
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
UR     2004     2hr 15min

Eleven acclaimed directors each make an 11 minute short film in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, bringing their unique points of view and distinct voices to confront this climatic event. The result is a daring and m...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Maryam Karimi, Emmanuelle Laborit, Jérôme Horry, Nour El-Sherif, Ahmed Haroun
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Studio: First Run Features
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic - Closed-captioned,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 10/26/2004
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 2hr 15min
Screens: Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: Arabic, English, French, Hebrew, Japanese, Persian, Spanish
Subtitles: English, French

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Movie Reviews

A global perspective
T | Santa Rosa, CA United States | 11/01/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"An excellent sampling of different views and reactions to the events on September 11, 2001. Not all views are sympathetic towards the US, and some strong political commentary is expressed. People who are interested in different points of views and interpretations on that day's event will enjoy the styles and ideas reflected. People who take offense to any kind of anti-US opinion and feel that any artistic representation of the event is in bad taste should stay away."
A Global Interpretation of 9/11 that Will Make You Think
Steve Koss | New York, NY United States | 02/15/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"French producer Alain Brigand gathered a collection of eleven film directors from around the world and gave them an assignment: to make a film of eleven minutes and nine seconds duration that symbolized their perception of the events on September 11, 2001. The results in this DVD, while occasionally uneven, are a brilliant response - thought-provoking, shocking, touching, cautionary, and confused. More important, ten of these eleven vignettes (excluding that of Sean Penn) allow us to view 9/11 through a non-American lens, an opportunity we seldom have to see ourselves as others see us.

The best of these eleven shorts are magnificent and heart-rending. Samira Makhmalbaf (Iran) tells the story of a woman teacher at an Afghani refugee camp in Iran. First she wanders through the camp, retrieving the young children for school who are busy making mud for bricks to protect themselves from an American atomic bomb. She herds them into a makeshift classroom and asks them if they know about a terrible event that has occurred in the world. Two people fell into a nearby well, and one was killed, the children tell her. Following a marvelous parody of a philosophical discussion about God's plan, the children are coaxed into a moment of silence standing next to their own tower, the smokestack for their brick kiln.

Claude Lelouch (France) directs an intimate story of a deaf woman in New York who is busy writing a break-up letter to her boyfriend that terrible morning. She misses the entire event on television only to find her boyfriend standing at the door, covered in dust and crying. Idrissa Ouedragogo (Burkina Faso) tells the charming story of five boys who spot Osama bin Laden in their remote village and set out to capture him for the $25 million reward. Tragedy for some creates opportunity for others. Mira Nair (India) presents a Middle Eastern mother in a Queens neighborhood who is victimized by anger, discrimination, and sacrifice, ultimately having to deliver a devastating eulogy.

Two of the shorts take controversial but wildly different approaches. Ken Loach (UK) relates 9/11 to another 9/11 in 1973 when the U.S. backed the overthrow of the democratically-elected Allende in favor of Pinochet. The result was a horrific, U.S.-inspired reign of terror that took more than 30,000 Chilean lives. The narrator writes that Chileans will remember the WTC victims on the first anniversary of their tragic deaths; he hopes Americans might remember the 29th anniversary of so many Chilean deaths. By contrast, the Mexican director Alejandro Inarritu uses a mostly blank screen, broken by flashes of human bodies falling from the burning towers, to transmit a simple question: does God's light guide us or blind us?

Each of the eleven pieces in September 11 are unique in story line and cinematic approach. A few, such as Shohei Imamura's (Japan) and Youssef Chahine (Egypt) fall flat, but they are far outweighed by the others. Some pieces may touch you, and some may anger you, but all will make you stop and think. The events of 9/11 were not just an American event, they were a world event. While we have every right to our own national perspective, we gain from opening our mind and hearts to the rest of the world, sharing our anger as well as our grief.

Complex Interpretations of a Painful, Terrible Event
Robert Kolker | 11/13/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is an extraordinary compilation of 11 short films by directors from as far as Japan and as close as the U.S. All the films are aware of the still unbearable horror of the events of 9/11, but each interprets them differently. Some are direct, dramatic vignettes. Others, like Shohei Imamura's, are almost impenetrable allegories. Sean Penn's tale, featuring Ernest Borgnine, is as moving as it is mysterious. The British director, Ken Loach, provides a political parallel that will enrage some and amaze others. This is a film that will stay with you and offer perspectives you might not have thought of.

Robert Kolker, author, "A Cinema of Loneliness," "The Altering Eye," "Film, Form, and Culture.""
THEME of 9/11 inspires short films about societies deal.
E. Dabby | Del Mar, CA USA | 12/19/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This film deals with the THEME of what occurred in the US on September 11. It allows the viewers to understand the viewpoints of 11 men chosen from across the world who used, as a theme, September 11 as the basis of a short film. As I understand, each director was given significant leverage in creating a short film, the only guideline being a financial budget and that the film must be inspired by the events of September 11. The directors did not discuss their own projects with each other, thus this film is not about one thing - it is NOT directly about Americas September 11. This being said, this film is not a critique, a tribute to, or even about the actual events of September 11, and should be viewed with this is mind. Many Americans see this film and, assuming it is about Americans September 11, are very upset and disappointed. This is a very selfish view, for Americans are not alone in their suffering. It is more about how people of different cultures and backgrounds deal with the highly impactive events occurring in our world. I feel this movie is a tremendous contribution to our society because it allows people to understand how people in other societies comprehend and deal with trauma. Whether or not we agree with these directors should not be what we get out of this film; what we should walk away with is the knowledge that while our world is diverse, we are all similar because at some time in our lives we will deal with our own "September 11," be it in New York City or an anonymous town in Ghana. This film is a tremendous opportunity to learn about the world."