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11'09"01 September 11 (France)

Footage: 135min

Year: 2002

"Eleven filmmakers, eleven looks implicating their individual conscience"... 

This film is a unique and extraordinary response to the catastrophic events in New York City that shook the world on September 11, 2001. The French film company Studio Canal invited 11 renowned international directors to create a film lasting eleven minutes, nine seconds and one frame - 11'09''01.

Each filmmaker's entry takes a different approach. It's not a pontificating and solemn commemoration of this historical event.

Samira Makhmalbaf (Iran)

An Iranian teacher tries to tell Afghan refugee schoolchildren about the towers collapsing. But the destruction of the twin towers is quite remote for them. She finds them uncomprehending. Some of them say "God doesn't destroy humans" ... "He doesn't have airplanes!" The teacher leads them out of the school to view the smoking chimney of a brick kiln, the tallest structure in the arid landscape.

Claude Lelouch (France)

It is a small drama set in New York, where a deaf girl and her boyfriend are struggling with their relationship when he leaves to take a deaf tour group to the World Trace Center. With her own world falling apart, she's not watching the images on the television in the next room.

Youssef Chahine (Egypt)

Director Youssef Chahine directs a surreal segment and plays himself. In his entry, Egyptian director Youssef Chahine, playing himself, meets with the ghosts of a Marine killed in the 1983 bombing of US barracks in Beirut and the suicide bomber who carried out the attack. The director counts up those killed by US policy in places such as Vietnam and Indonesia for the Marine. What upsets him, and what he questions, is how far from American ideals American leaders often deviate.

Danis Tanovic (Bosnia)

This story is contributed about the mourners of those killed in the vicious Balkan wars of the mid-1990s. Tanovic shows his home country in chaos--people wounded and grieving, unable to go home. in a still war-scarred and too-quiet town center women are preparing to demonstrate as usual. When they get the news from New York their march takes on a new meaning.

 Idrissa Ouedraogo (Burkina-Faso)

some kids are convinced they saw Ben Laden in Ouagadougou; they foment a plan to capture him and obtain the $25 million reward promised by the US. With this money, they erect dreams of social progress, including health care.

Ken Loach (UK)

Ken Loach holds the United States responsible of the September 11th tragedy. Narrated by Vladimir Vega, a Chilean exile living in London, Loach's contribution compares the events of Sept. 11, 1973 in Chile to Sept. 11, 2001 in the United States. On another 911 a US-led coup bombed Santiago. Some 30,000 people, including the elected president Allende, were killed. It's a shameful episode, and it led to the brutal military dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet.

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (Mexico)

Inarritu takes an experimental approach, less a narrative than a sensory experience. It leaves the screen completely blank except for brief glimpses of the worst footage--people jumping from the towers. The soundtrack features a blend of music, voices and news reports.

"Does God's light guide us or blind us?"

Amos Gitai (Israel)

Gitai shows us the aftermath of a car bombing in Tel Aviv, but as the film crew cover the event they're told their footage won't go out because something has happened in New York.

 Mira Nair (India)

It's a true story about a Pakistani family in New York looking for their missing son. Since he was a Muslim, everyone assumes he was a terrorist. But actually he is a hero.

Sean Penn (USA)

An old man lives in the memory of his late wife. His days pass, monotonous, until the day when the towers collapse near his apartment. The light penetrates his gloomy sanctuary and provokes in him a terrible awareness of loss.

 Shohei Imamura (Japan)

A WWII veteran in Japan thinks he's a snake. His family can't figure him out and are repelled by his actions. The allegorical meaning is: "There's no such thing as a holy war."

Short segments online

Trailer

References:

SEPTEMBER 11? WHO CARES - LET'S TALK ABOUT FEMINISM, OR GLOBALISATION, OR HEGEMONIC CORPORATE GREED, OR ...

11'09''01- September 11: The Rest Is Silence

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