Well put together
A fitting people's documentary
Painful at times
Still almost unbelievable
Too much suffering
The week commencing Monday 7th September 2009 in the UK saw a variety of programmes aired on British television relating to those terrible events on 9/11.102 Minutes That Changed America was a very moving film which I watched in silence with a whole range of emotions running through me. From the time when the first plane hit, the first one of the Twin Towers, to when the second tower fell to the ground below, was a mere 102 minutes. So many lives lost, minds and bodies scarred forever and events that would instigate ongoing conflict and more in such a short space of time.
Initially I thought this film was simply something made for TV, from actual footage on the day. I have since realised that this film is available from suppliers such as Amazon.com. However it is actual footage of events as they happened and therefore is not for the feint hearted
102 minutes starts on that glorious late summer, come early autumn day, in September 2001.
New Yorkers were just starting to go about their daily business as the film begins. As we all remember, all too well, the first plane hit and most people assumed it was an accident. Those that thought differently hoped they were wrong.
The film is made up of around hundred different people's actual footage of the disaster as it happened. In the UK it was early afternoon when the news broke and the shock-waves began to be felt over here, as well as in America. I guess there are few of us, who were around back then, who cannot remember what we were doing when this crisis unfolded. 9/11 has become the same sort of event, in that way, as the day John Kennedy was assasinated. That is to those of us old enough to remember this other terrible day. Of course these days, though, we have much more press coverage readily available. The 24 hour news channel in the UK had the moment the planes hit showing over and over again for days on end. It made for compulsive but terrible viewing.
The footage that is shown in 102 minutes is not what was shown on the day on mainstream TV. In this the 21st Century people took images themselves on cell phones, digital cameras and video recorders. There is even footage as people ran for their lives. The shaky quality of the images is understandable given the circumstances. It has a similar feel to the images in Cloverfield but of course this is no work of fiction but the real world.
In ClosingBy the time each commercial break came around I felt drained but yet compelled to keep watching. Much as 102 minutes is not easy watching, and will not be suitable for everyone, as a piece of living history it is important, I think. It reminds the viewer of what actually occurred on that fateful day and what America, Mankind and the World lost. It is also easy to see, after you have watched this film, why the ongoing battle against terrorism became so important. As a memorial to those who were murdered that day, their families, the special forces, firemen, citizens of New York, tourists and more it is appropriate. Without sensationalizing the events of that day 102 minutes shows the horror of what such acts of terrorism can mete out, and the many innocent souls who are left suffering afterward, often for the rest of their lives.
The viewing time is just over 2 hours and is not suitable for children.