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Saint of 9/11 - The True Story of Father Mychal Judge (2007)

Ian McKellen , Larry Boes , Glenn Holsten  |  NR |  DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

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Saint of 9/11 - The True Story of Father Mychal Judge + The Book of Mychal: The Surprising Life and Heroic Death of Father Mychal Judge + Father Mychal Judge: An Authentic American Hero
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Product Details

  • Actors: Ian McKellen, Larry Boes, Everald Brathwaite, Thomas Paul Carey, Brian Carroll
  • Directors: Glenn Holsten
  • Producers: Brendan Fay, Malcolm Lazin
  • Format: Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Arts Alliance Amer
  • DVD Release Date: November 21, 2006
  • Run Time: 91 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000ION2IU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #156,082 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Saint of 9/11 - The True Story of Father Mychal Judge" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

In an enduring photograph of 9/11, a team of rescue workers carry a Franciscan priest's body from the World Trade Center. The world came to know Father Mychal Judge, in death as a symbol of courage and sacrifice. Saint of 9/11 represents the turbulent, restless, spiritual and remarkable journey of Father Mychal. Compassionate champion of the needy and forgotten, and a beloved New York City Fire Department Chaplain, he was a humble priest who wrestled with his own private demons while touching others in powerful and miraculous ways. Saint of 9/11 weaves interviews with friends, colleagues, congregants and archival footage with Mychal's words and shows the full humanity of a special life interrupted. Narrated by Sir Ian McKellen. Features interviews with famed author Malachy McCourt and former New York City Fire Commissioner Thomas Von Essen.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
The power of Father Mychal Judge's impact on those who knew him and those, like me, who only met him through this documentary, is his honesty, his ability to accept life as is, and his thoroughly non-judgemental way of interacted with others.

I did not experience this work as a work about a gay man or gay priest or an alcoholic man or an alcoholic priest who showed courage on 9/11. Instead, I experienced this work as being about a man who dealt with alcoholism and who happened to be gay. Each truth is but a component of the man, neither one is his definition. The defining truth about Father Mychal Judge is found in his courage, honesty, capacity for acceptance, his non-judgement of others and his unflinching loyalty to the firefighters. A loyalty that is underscored when one learns that Mayor Guiliani told Father Mychal, who was at the WTC with the firefighters, he could join the mayor's party and go to a safe place. Father Mychal said, "No, I've got to stay with my men."

Father Mychal was administering to a dying firefighter when he was killed in the collapse of the first tower. Father Mychal Judge understood that, as I have heard in the rooms of AA, "Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it is thinking less about yourself." I think everyone should see this documentary. Perhaps Father Mychal Judge knew there is no safer place than heaven.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review of Saint of 9/11: DVDs That Inspire June 22, 2009
By Leo
Saint of 9/11 is a touching remembrance of Fr. Mychal Judge, the first recorded fatality of the September 11 attacks at the World Trade Center. Through interviews of people whose lives he's touched and archival video, a multi-layered tapestry is unveiled, revealing the rich life of the openly gay Fransciscan friar and beloved fire chaplain for the FDNY. He was an inspiration to many. You would pal around with him, before consciously remembering that he was a man of the cloth.

Fr. Mychal is universally seen as a 'living saint' and Brooklyn's favorite son: a protector of the city's disenfranchised and spiritual guide for the average Joe.

Through a series of anecdotes that director Glenn Holsten smoothly gels into one another, you get to know about the Franciscan priest with 'the wild laugh' whose passion was to simply serve others.

While Fr. Mychal was a superhuman dynamo, he was admittedly not perfect. And yet, you get the impression that he's looked into his soul, judged himself accordingly and moved onward with his life.

While Saint is not an overtly gay film, Fr. Mychal's sexuality cannot be ignored in this review. His sexuality was a part of the priest's personhood. What makes Holsten's direction so powerful is that he doesn't ignore the topic nor treat it with heavy-handed diatribe.

In the end, viewers are left in awe, wishing that they've known a "Fr. Mychal" in their lives. At the same time, they are left open to the audacious possiblity that they could be a "Fr. Mychal"!

If you are looking to be inspired, this is the DVD to buy!
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Selfless, Gay Clergy Member October 17, 2006
Father Judge died on 9-11 being of assistance to his beloved firefighters. This work explores his life through people who knew him best.

If you loved Mother Theresa, you should love this guy. He helped the homeless. He had ethnic pride. A black man was interviewed who spoke of how Judge befriended and aided him; I get the sense the Father was an anti-racism advocate.

He was human like everyone else, just with a big heart. He admitted to struggling with alcoholism. He got a shamrock tattoo "somewhere private" without realizing it. He was not out everywhere, so the closet was a challenge for him, like many gay men.

Many bigots say that gay men can't be patriotic and are immoral. Here was a man full of ethics. He died helping those in need. He should be respected by people of all sexualities.

I read a review elsewhere that said he couldn't be gay because he was a priest. However, in this work, the people who knew him said he identified as gay. Deal with it if you can't! If I remember correctly, they do not say whether he was always celibate. They could have been braver by truthfully addressing that issue.

Ian McKellen follows Harvey Fierstein in being an openly gay man narrating a documentary about another openly gay man. His voice has the resonance and authority that one would expect for such an accomplished actor.

At times gushy, this piece was still a powerful one that every American should enjoy and from which every American should learn.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Man to Admire March 7, 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This story slowly reveals the portrait of a man, dedicated to serving God and his fellows. It reveals layers upon layers of humanity. Michael Judge, the "hero" of this story, is an everyman and yet stands apart as a saint. It's a movie that brings tears of joy for how amazing human beings can be, even in the midst of tears for how wordlessly destructive we can be, too.

This is a wonderful story of spiritual humanism - or human spirituality. Michael Judge took Jesus admonition seriously, that "as much as ye have done it unto the least of these, my brethren, ye have done it unto me."
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Do as I do... October 14, 2010
In spite of his humility, humanity and martyrdom, Fr. Mychal Judge, "The Saint of 9/11," is unlikely ever to grace the stained glass of any Catholic Church. A gay man who fought with Cardinals is a hard sell for the advancement-minded prelates in their ivory rectories. This, even though Mychal presided over firefighter's funerals and browbeat high-end boutiques into coughing up jackets for New York's poor. The film combines interviews with friends and colleagues with footage of Mychal in his white fire chaplain's helmet in the North Tower of the World Trade Center just before its collapse. The film discussed Mychal's love for AIDS victims. Early in the HIV crisis, when even health care workers turned their backs on victims for fear of catching their devastating disease, Mychal burst into their hospital rooms bearing love, embraces and even kisses for the afflicted. Yet he came to the attention of most of us by his tragic death on 9/11. The images of him pacing the lobby of the tower, looking fearful and worried, coming just moments before the end of his earthly life, were moving and sad. But it was less his final moments than the decades of loving service beforehand that made his death so significant and so painful for so many.

"Saint of 9/11" provides glimpses of Mychal's struggle with the consequences of his homosexuality and alcoholism, but only slivers of light on the battles with the Church hierarchy. The snippets of tape from a Mass he celebrated with firefighters the day before 9/11 show a priest of ordinary homiletic prowess. But it was the power his deeds that far outshone the rather ordinary theology he preached from the pulpit. His desire to share the lives of his men, even as planes were crashing and bodies falling, was what set him apart from his brother priests, and from the rest of us as well. Requiem in pace, Mychal, you have been a good and faithful servant.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Courage, Strength, Faith & Love
Learning about this most wonderful man motivates you to be a better person. Brings hope for a better life and a better world !
Published 24 days ago by Anthony Veteri
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning, sensitive film
This is a beautiful film, as well as a sensitive treatment of many emotional subjects. It's beautifully woven together, and the photography is stunning. Read more
Published 1 month ago by BarbZ
5.0 out of 5 stars A Story of a Man for Others
A very well done depiction of a man who, although flawed, was truly a saint. Mychal Judge was the first to die on Sept. 11, 2001. He died as he lived, taking care of others. Read more
Published 6 months ago by ADCampanella
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific!
A true American Hero. A power of example to all of us...enjoyed every moment looking at someone so complex but absolutely simple.
Published 6 months ago by Michael W
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful movie about an amazing life
I've been working at Siena College since 2009 and kept hearing about Fr. Mychal Judge--his name is on the memorial of 9/11 victims related to Siena--but had no idea what an amazing... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
This was a very touching story, or biography, about a very selfless man. It wasn't really about 9/11 except for the fact of how he died. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Carole A. Nolan
5.0 out of 5 stars Love everything you do in life
I knew Mychal, excuse me if I call him that. I met him when he had the Parish at St Joseph's Catholic Church, Germantown Road, in West Milford NJ in the spring of 1979. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Jim Bresett
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful!
I'd never really knew who Fr. Mychal was in life but after his passing as the first victim of 9/11 I became more familiar with his story. Read more
Published 9 months ago by T. Maury
4.0 out of 5 stars The story of an amazing man.
Fr. Judge was a lot more than he seemed. A true follower of St Francis. He showed love and compassion to all. The fact he died trying to protect another shows his love.
Published 10 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational
If more people in the world were like this priest....the world would be a much better place!
He was an incredible human being!
Published 11 months ago by Laurette T Lisowski
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