Films for 9/11 Remembrance

Here are several films worth watching during the upcoming 15th Anniversary of the attack on the Twin Towers. Click on the title to see my longer reviews.


United 93 (2006)

Rated R. Our content ratings: Violence 0; Language 4 ; Sex/Nudity 5. Running time: 1 hour 51 min.

This film, unfolding in real time, reminds us that there were three planes taken over by terrorists on that horrific—and that passengers and crew, learning of the fate of the two other commandeered planes, bravely decided not to go down without fight.

A&E Cable also produced an account of this event, though Flight 93 was not as well done as this taut tale.


September 11

French producer Alain Brigand asked 11 directors from around the world to make a film exactly 11 minutes, 9 frames, and 1 frame in length. Just 3 take place in this country (New York City), with most showing the reaction to the disaster. Some of the other countries are  Bosnia, Israel, Japan, Iran, Burkino Faso—United Kingdom’s Ken Loach’s film is perhaps the most interesting and biting.


World Trade Center (2006)

Rated PG-13. Our content ratings: Violence 2 ; Language 3 ; Sex/Nudity-1; Running time: 2 hours 5 min.

An unusually restrained Oliver Stone directs Nicholas Cage and a number of others in this story of one of firemen, office workers, Marines, and police officers—and their families—all caught up in the tragedy of the twin towers


Post 9/11

Land of Plenty (2004)

Rated PG-13. Our content ratings: Violence 2; Language1; Sex/Nudity 3 . Running time: 2 hours 9 min.

The marvelous German director (Wings of Desire, one of the truly great spiritual films!) explores the sad and almost paranoid atmosphere of America the year after 9/11. The daughter of a missionary returns home from Africa to deliver in person a letter to her uncle. The adults had been estranged from one another because he has been gug-ho for the Vietnam War. Now mentally and emotionally damaged by it, he spends all of his time, money and energy patrolling the streets of Los Angeles, his mission to spot any “rag head” intent on attacking his city. I specially love this film because of its very positive image of the church and its ethic of love.


Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2011)

Rated PG-13. Our content ratings: Violence 2; Language1; Sex/Nudity 3 . Running time: 2 hours 9 min.

A precocious nine-year-old boy, haunted by the fact that he did not pick up the telephone when his father called home while trapped in one of the towers, develops a tense relationship with his mother. A year later he goes on a scavenger hunt similar to the trips around the burroughs of the city once conducted by father. Now he is trying to find out what lock fits the key that he found in his fathers belongings.


The Power of Forgiveness (2008)

Unrated documentary. Running time: 1 hour 18 min

Among the many powerful episodes of this riveting documentary in which noted fimmaker Martin Doblmeir explores “forgiveness from every conceivable aspect is the story of a few relatives of victims who want to create a “Garden of Forgiveness” at Ground Zero, based on one in Lebanon run by a peace activist who is trying to bring Muslims and Jews together (there is also an episode on this).

Twin Towers Cameos (2011)

Filmmaker Dan Meth’s almost 8-minute film shows how the Twin Towers appeared in so many films, from comedies to crime thrillers to romances, fantasy and science fiction. The dozens of brief clips films include King Kong (remake), Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon, The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3, Manhattan, Bonfire of the Vanities, Ghostbusters 2, Escape From New York, Staying Alive—all set to the mournful song by Kansas “Dust in the Wind” plus one other song. The last half might be too much for some because it includes so many clips of the planes smashing into the towers and their eventual collapse. If so, you could stop at the half-way mark, or else watch virtually the same first half of the film that comes on after this, this 4+ minute film called New York’s Twin Towers.


New York’s Twin Towers is still another of the many short films on YouTube.

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2 Replies to “Films for 9/11 Remembrance”

  1. found your blog by accident, searching for Doug Marr contact information. I, too, remember Shaw, MS, with love and affection. Especially, Lucy Mae O’Quinn, who housed me and nurtured my understanding of Mississippi on a personal level. Hope all is well. Dennis

    1. Dennis, how wonderful to hear from another former temporary resident of Shaw. “Love and affection” is a good way to describe our relationship to the people of Shaw (at least the African American portion). As you can see by looking through the list of 1200+ movies on my website, the time spent with the folks at Shaw seeking justice with them has profoundly affected my life, and thus my love for social justice films. “All is well,” with my wife and I retiring from the ministry and settling into a nice home just south of Dayton, Oh, where I’m close enough to ravel to Cincinnati once a week to see films. How about you? (For a less public exchange you can use [email protected].)

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