Eleven Minutes, Nine Seconds, One Image: September 11



IMDb Rating 6.9 10 5610

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December 02, 2021 at 05:15 AM

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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by claudio_carvalho 7 / 10

Great Idea – Different Views of the Intolerance in the World

This collection of eleven short stories in one movie is a great idea, and presents some great segments, but also some disappointing surprises. Based on the tragic event of the September 11th 2001 in the United States of America, eleven directors were invited to give their approach to the American tragedy. The result of most of them is not only an individual sympathy to the American people, but mainly to the intolerance in the world with different cultures and people.

Ken Loach (UK) presents the best segment, about the September 11th 1973 in Chile, when the democratic government of Salvador Alliende was destroyed by the dictator Augusto Pinochet with the support of the USA.

The other excellent segments are the one of Youssef Chahine (Egypt), showing the intolerance in the world, and the number of victims made by USA governments in different countries along the contemporary history; and the one of Mira Nair (India), showing a true story of injustice and prejudice against a Pakistanis family, whose son was wrongly accused of terrorism in USA, when he was indeed a hero.

Some segments are beautiful: Samira Makhmalbaf (Iran) shows the innocent Afghans refugee children preparing an inoffensive shelter against bombs, while their teacher tries to explain to them what happened on the other side of the world; the romantic Claude Lelouch (France) shows the life of a couple in New York nearby the WTC; Danis Tanovic (Bosnia-Herzegovina) shows the effects of their war in a small location and the lonely protest of widows; Sean Penn is very poetic, showing that life goes on; and Shohei Imamura's story is probably the most impressive, showing that there is no Holy War but sadness and disgrace.

The segment of Idrissa Quedraogo (Birkina Faso) is very naive, but pictures the terrible poor conditions of this African nation.

The segment of Amos Gital (Israel) is very boring and manipulative, showing more violence and terrorism.

The segment of Alejandro González Iñárritu is very disappointing, horrible, without any inspiration and certainly the worst one.

My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "11 de Setembro" ("September 11")

Reviewed by dbborroughs 9 / 10

A movie to move you to tears.

Though the pieces are uneven this collection of 11 short films is truly a moving and human experience. There were some who, in the wake of the emotion on the anniversary of the bombings, took this to be anti-American. I don't think thats the case, even though some parts might be taken that way if you don't look behind the obvious. Ultimately the film is nothing except an attempt by people to express their confusion, sympathy and feelings about what happened. These are stories of people who's worlds have been shaken up by what happened on a Tuesday in September.

As I said this film will move you, probably to tears. Its not always easy to watch, for example the film from Mexico is little more than a black screen with sound, but its effect is such as to lay even the strongest of people low. If you can be strong you really should see this film. It will comfort you and enlighten you and affect you...

Reviewed by JohnSeal 9 / 10

Aging quite well

I first saw this film when it aired on the now defunct Trio Channel a few years ago, and recently watched it again--sans commercials--on Sundance. I was impressed the first time, and found it even more engaging on second viewing. Yes, some of the segments are far from perfect--Amos Gitai's hysterical commentary stands out like a sore thumb--but taken collectively, 11 09 01 is a total success. Best of show: Shohei Imamura's amazing final segment, which contemporary critics such as the thick-witted Mick LaSalle somehow misinterpreted as an attack on 'the terrorists', but now stands revealed as a masterful anti-war polemic; Samira Makhmalbaf's opening piece that manages to blend deep empathy for the victims of 9/11 with a prescient concern for the children of Afghanistan; and Idrissa Ouedraogo's amusing children's crusade for Osama Bin Laden--a hunt almost as serious and successful an undertaking as the one for the REAL Osama. Youssef Chahine's segment is a noble if failed experiment which at least has the guts to remind the audience that Bin Laden and al'Qaeda are basically creations of American foreign policy and the CIA, and though Sean Penn's character study seems out of place, it's still an effectively bittersweet piece of film-making. All in all, essential viewing, and a darn sight better than Oliver Stone's reactionary World Trade Center.

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