In 2005, I reviewed three documentaries (all now available on DVD), including Cable News Network’s comprehensive first anniversary tribute, America Remembers: The Events of September 11 and America’s Response. CNN’s 2002 DVD includes footage of memorial services and President George W. Bush’s address to a joint session of Congress following the attack.
In one segment, a CNN producer reveals that, after the first plane, hijacked by Islamic fundamentalists, was crashed into the World Trade Center, as people in the newsroom watched the live feeds, looking at the huge hole in the side of the building, someone said: “That’s no accident.” I wrote that the DVD is worth watching for several reasons, not the least of which is the remarkable photography, now as much a part of our history as the Japanese planes bombing our ships at Pearl Harbor. CNN includes rare video captures of the first plane screaming into New York City and a close-up of the first plane’s gaping hole. The producers feature shots you probably haven’t seen.
Also reviewed are the independent Remember September 11, 2001 and The Flight That Fought Back, the Discovery Channel’s 90-minute chronological recreation of United Air Lines Flight 93—on which passengers resisted the Moslem hijackers—narrated by 24‘s Keifer Sutherland, which is the most compelling. Each of the three programs minimize the role of ideas, i.e., fundamentalist Islam, in the enemy attack. The Flight That Fought Back reconstructs the day’s events using actors and brief simulations.