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America Remembers: The September 11th Disaster cover photo

America Remembers: The September 11th Disaster 2004


Distributed by Human Relations Media, 41 Kensico Drive, Mt. Kisco, NY 10549; 800-431-2050
Produced by NBC News Productions
Director n/a
VHS, color, 88 min.

Sr. High - Adult
Middle Eastern Studies, Terrorism

Date Entered: 07/07/2005

Reviewed by Michael Fein, Coordinator of Library Services, Central Virginia Community College, Lynchburg, VA

This two-part “Dateline” production takes an overall personal view of the events of 9/11. The first presents the biographies of well-known players such as Osama Bin Laden and Mohammed Atta as well as four of the victims of the attack. We see the paths their lives take as they move towards the 11th of September. The report deals with policy failures of America in dealing with the growing threat of Islamic terror. The report notes the many times that U.S. government agencies “dropped the ball” in foiling this plot. With all this outrage, it is hard for this reviewer to fathom why the Sudanese offer to turn Bin Laden over to the U.S. during the Clinton administration is not noted. After a while the indignation over the many policy failures becomes a case of “20/20 hindsight.” The second part, which depicts the events of 9/11 by concentrating on five people in the World Trade Center, is very moving. Two of these people survived and their story is truly amazing. The surviving families of the other three present touching stories of the loss they suffered. There is also a look at events subsequent to the attack. Besides the look at the attackers and victims there are also comments from major policy players to give context. The sound and video quality are excellent. There is an accompanying teacher’s guide. This production is a dramatic and touching look at what led up to 9/11 as well as how it impacted four families. The personal story makes it useful for teaching about this event. The portrayal of policy leading up to 9/11 is not as well served, but this production can stand as a springboard for discussion.