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9/11 - The Filmmakers' Commemorative Edition

4.9 out of 5 stars 481 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

THIS HEARTFELT DOCUMENTARY WAS CREATED AND PERSONALLY SUPERVISED BY THE AWARD-WINNING FRENCH FILMMAKERS JULES & GEDEON NAUDET WHO SIMPLY SET OUT TO MAKE A MOVIE ABOUT A ROOKIE NEW YORK CITY FIREMAN FROM ENGINE 7, LADDER 1 AND ENDED UPFILMING AN EVENT THAT CHANGED OUR LIVES FOREVER.

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Originally broadcast on CBS in March 2002, 9/11 is an extraordinary record of that fateful day in New York City. This one-of-a-kind documentary was originally conceived as a portrait of 21-year-old Tony Benetatos, a firefighter trainee at Manhattan's Duane Street firehouse, located seven blocks from the World Trade Center. By the time filming was finished, brothers Jules and Gedeon Naudet had captured history in the making, including the only image of the first jetliner striking Tower 1, and the only footage from within the tower as it collapsed. This is not, however, a film about the murderous nightmare of terrorism. It's the ultimate rite-of-passage drama, more immediate and meaningful than any fiction film could be, with Benetatos and his supportive colleagues emerging as heroes of the first order. Sensitively narrated by codirector and fellow firefighter James Hanlon, 9/11 will endure forever as a tribute to those, living and dead, who witnessed hell on that sunny Tuesday morning. --Jeff Shannon

Special Features

  • Extended version
  • Additional interviews

Product Details

  • Actors: Tony Benatatos, Jamal Braithwaite, Steve Buscemi, George W. Bush, Joseph Casaliggi
  • Directors: James Hanlon, Jules Naudet, Gedeon Naudet
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Letterboxed, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: September 12, 2002
  • Run Time: 112 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (481 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00006B1HI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,351 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "9/11 - The Filmmakers' Commemorative Edition" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By D. Movahedpour on February 3, 2003
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This film is the "accidental documentary" made by French brothers and film makers, Gedeon and Jules Naudet. The brothers were making a film about a young fire fighter during his 9-month probationary period. With the help of their friend, firefighter James Hanlon, there were given nearly unlimited access to all the goings-on at the firehouse, Engine 7, Ladder 1, on Duane Street in Lower Manhattan, less than ten blocks from the World Trade Center. Little did the brothers know that they would be the witness to history, just three months after they began their project.
Gedeon is the older brother, and the avid film maker. But, by the time of 9/11, an additional camera had been purchased for Jules for "camera practice." Jules is with the Battalion Chief, Joseph Pfeifer, and 13 other fire fighters from the house, filming as they investigate an odor of gas at 8:46 am on Tuesday morning, September 11, 2001. They are standing in the path of the plane as it flies over and hits Tower 1, and Jules is filming the entire time. His is the only footage of the attack on Tower 1. The reaction of the firefighters is immediate, as they take off for the Trade Center, a place they previously would visit up to five times a day on a shift. They know the Trade Center perhaps better than any other firehouse in Manhattan. But, nothing has prepared them for this.
What transpires is the only known footage of the struggle of the firefighters inside Tower 1 as they try to figure out what to do in the chaos and confusion. They had seen it all, they thought, but this was something they hadn't prepared for. The film is very sensitively edited, so you don't see the blood or the gore or the bodies, you only hear about them.
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Words still fail to properly express the absolute horror endured by all who experienced 9/11, either firsthand or over the television. This documentary of that awful day, filmed by French filmmakers Gedeon and Jules Naudet, provides a medium where viewers can relive, but yet, come to terms, with the horrors of that day. Given the enormous wealth of footage taken that day, it was only a matter of time before that material was put together into some kind of video record. When word came down that, in early March, documentary footage shot by the Naudet brothers would be broadcast without interruption on CBS, I felt both apprehension and anticipation. I was in anticipation because I needed to see it in order to come to terms in my own mind with the events that happened. I was concerned about the prospect of this documentary because there were chances that it could be superficial and/or exploitive, which would have been a tremendous shame. Much to my relief, the Naudets' "9/11" special was nothing like that. It presents both a factual and honorable record of that day.

The circumstances by which the Naudet brothers ended up filming on the front line of the worst U.S. disaster since Pearl Harbor were quite interesting. The filmmakers, who got the only video footage from inside the WTC after the attack, were initially in New York to film a documentary about the journey of a fireman from young academy recruit to tested veteran. Interviews with the recruits of the FDNY academy lead the Naudets to select Tony Benetatos as the subject of their film. He seemed to embody the idealism and determination that were crucial to a member of the FDNY.
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Yeah yeah yeah - I've seen it all. I understood the horror. I'd seen it over and over as it happened and in the replay that day. I've cried my eyes dry. I watched the documentaries about the WTC being built, and how it collapsed. But you know what, I didn't know JACK until I watched this.

The confusion in the lobby caught me first...what WAS that noise...then they explain. I became sick. At every horrifying crash, the firefighters look up, gulp the fear back, literally, and go back to the business of trying to save people.

The video of Father Judge praying in the lobby before the collapse is priceless - the only two mental images I had of him were still pictures of the blessing for the victims of Flight 900 at the shore, and his body's removal from the tower. This video shows you he was about the business of praying for the folks there in earnest.

Finally, I sat down with my pc and froze the dvd whenever I could see a name on a helmet or an overcoat and went to read about that person's life. And death. And I cried again. And became angry all over again. I will never forget the images on this film.

The French people gave us the Statue of Liberty, and now they (in the form of these two wonderful French brothers) have given us one of the most important keys to understanding the attack - in all its horror and honesty, this is the one I'll show my grandchildren, God in heaven willing.

Jules and Gedeon, and Firefighter Hanlon, God Bless you each.
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