NatGeo 9/11 Series “Gut-wrenching”

A “gut-wrenchingly immediate” commemoration of 9/11 will screen 7.30 weeknights on Sky’s National Geographic channel from September 6.

“The series takes a deep dive into the heroism prompted by 9/11 and the tragic day’s lasting impact,” Deadline reports. Reads the blurb:

9/11: One Day in America tells the in-depth story of September 11th through the eyes of the witnesses, heroes and survivors. Made in collaboration with the 9/11 Memorial & Museum to mark the 20th anniversary, this major new series charts the tragic day in unprecedented detail – from the first plane hitting the north tower to the last survivors being rescued from the rubble.

“As a filmmaker, how do you unpick this two-decade legacy?” pondered The Daily Telegraph.

“National Geographic’s answer is to go big – to erect a monument that measures up to the place the Twin Towers once held on the New York skyline.

9/11: One Day in America, told over six episodes, is a forensic, exhaustive and often devastating look at the events that day …

“Each episode focuses on a couple of stories which illustrate a larger idea: the dizzying bravery of the firemen and first responders; the collapse of the south tower; the aftermath and rescue operation … This eye-witness approach is gut-wrenchingly immediate.”

Said another critic: “9/11: One Day in America takes viewers as close to the event as you could get without having been there in person.

“The amount of empathy you feel for the victims of the day becomes soul crushing as you watch footage of people making the impossible choice between staying in the building to burn to death or jumping.

“The sounds of bodies hitting the ground paired with descriptions from those who were there will stay with you.”

Another 9/11 commemoration to watch for is NYC Epicenters: 9/11 – 2021 ½, an eight-hour HBO series from activist filmmaker Spike Lee. Said Variety:

Lee’s opus for HBO on how his beloved city reeled from and responded to the nation’s biggest disasters in recent memory, inspires a potent mixture of frustration and awe. Having conducted over 200 interviews for his “documentary essay,” Lee constructs an oral history only he could, fueled by the vivid pulse of his own love for New York City and everyone who lives therein. At its most effective (episodes 3 and 4 on 9/11), NYC Epicenters combines archival footage and testimonies to create an essential archive of knowledge, pain and resilience. At its most confusing (episode 2 on … the insurrection?), it strays into barely related sidebars — almost always related to Trump — that quickly lose sight of what makes the series most powerful.

No word yet on when it will screen here. It’s not on SoHo’s September schedule but may turn up on Neon; SoHo’s only 9/11 commemoration will be a repeat of In the Shadow of the Towers.

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