September 11

Released 2002


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September 11

Movie Summary

Sean Penn , Claude Lelouch
September 11th is a unique look at the events of the 9-11 terrorist attacks as interpreted by a number of different directors in 11 separate shorts. Originally titled 11'09''01, French film company Studio Canal calls upon 11 different directors from all around the world to produce a short vignette, offering commentary on the tragic events of September 11th, 2001, in a segment exactly 11 minutes, 9 seconds, and one frame long. The results are quite striking; some look to lend perspective to the attacks themselves and the worldwide reaction to them, like Iranian director Samira Makhmalbaf's trip to a burning chimney in a rural Afghan village, with her schoolchildren, all of whom know nothing of the events of the day. Other films exercise their political muscle, like Britain's Ken Loach, who can not resist the coincidence in linking the 9-11 tragedy to 9-11-73, when a CIA outfit assisted in taking down Chile's democratically elected socialist president Salvador Allende. And French director Claude Lelouch delves into a personal tale of a World Trade Center tour guide who is in the midst of relationship problems as the attacks begin. In all, 11 directors, from USA's Sean Penn to Burkina Faso's Idrissa Ouedraogo to Israel's Amos Gitai tackle the subject the best they can, in this chilling and contrasting commentary on the monumental and tragic day of September 11th.moreless

Metacritic Score

  • 70

    Variety Deborah Young

    A sober, thought-provoking response to a tragedy of worldwide import and a much better film than one might expect from the pre-release publicity.

  • 60

    The New York Times Dave Kehr

    Most impressive, and the only segment that dares to criticize the terrorists directly, is Mr. Imamura's contribution, the last part of the film.

  • 60

    Los Angeles Times Manohla Dargis

    It's no surprise that Imamura has directed the best film in September 11, which is doubtless why the producer saved it for last.

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