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9-11: The Noudet brothers documentary


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I got to see about half of this today, and it's amazing. It's a documentary following a probie firefighter entering FDNY only months before September 11th. If that wasnt intense enough, its the only footage ive ever seen taken inside Tower 1, while its all coming down & people are jumping off and everything.

 

But rather than hang on that for shock value, it spends its time setting up the family of Ladder 1, on and off duty. Granted, I find it particularly fascinating due to my line of work, but I cant imagine anyone feeling this way. Here's a better desctription:

 

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.

 

From the back cover:

 

On the morning of September 11, 2001, brothers Jules and Gedeon Naudet were working on a documentary about a rookie New York City firefighter. Hearing a roar in the sky, Jules turned his camera upward--just in time to film the only existing image of the first plane crashing into the World Trade Center. In a fateful instant, Jules and Gedeon became eyewitnesses to the most shocking and defining incident of our time.

 

With cameras rolling, the Naudets followed NYC firefighters into the heart of what would be known as Ground Zero. What emerged is an unforgettably powerful visual document and a stirring tribute to real-life heroes who, in their city's darkest hour, rose to extraordinary acts of courage and compassion.

 

As soon as I can afford a copy, Ill prolly give my downloaded DVD one to whomever wants it, but until then, im down to make coipes or lend it out to those interseted.

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  • 2 weeks later...

...jesus. I cant believe i hadnt seen this.

 

Its the most powerful thing ive seen in quite a while, So, it not only follows the rookie; being a pair of brothers, they get to film him, as well as the rest of the crew.

One the fateful day, theyre actually on another call, blocks away, and they watch it all go down & act as the first responding unit...all this before the tower itself comes down on them.

 

The whole incident itself, the waiting game at the station to see who comes home in the aftermath, the diggin in the following days...for me, it was almost surreal to see this on tape, and it not be fiction.

 

Its quite lengthy, and im glad i wasnt part of the editing process, but if youre in any way interested in how things were for the rescue crew on scene, you honestly cant miss this one.

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I saw it when it was first broadcast, and have seen bits and pieces of it since then. There's a lot to be appreciated, especially about the fact that it's really a human-interest piece that inadvertently made history. The Noudet brothers weren't any more aware that 9/11 was going to be a day of terrible historymaking than the people in the Towers or anyone else in the world. It wasn't a focus on terrorism, they weren't looking for a flash-in-the-pan story, even after the first plane hit. There wasn't immediate speculation as to who did what, no finger pointing, no screaming for revenge from the rooftops. There was only the raw fear and adrenaline as these men, both new and established as firefighters, remained loyal to their duty despite wrestling with their worst fears - The loss of teammates, family members, friends. It was terrifying to watch it all unfold on ABC News on the day it happened, but to see this very real, very intense, very inside look at the ground-level human aspect just slammed it all home. The moments of silence inside the lobby of tower 1 as bodies were falling and hitting cars, pavement, people jumping to their deaths, the pitch black darkness and the roar of millions of tons of concrete and steel falling all around, it was just amazing and frightening and heartbreaking and gut-wrenching. I recommend it to anyone, really, but especially if you're someone who needs a little bit of grounding. We're all thankful to our respective deities that we weren't there that day or the days that followed. Watching this, though, you'll hug your loved ones a lot tighter, and you'll truly thank whoever it is you're thankful to that you're here today.

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Thank you for that, RA, that was a much greater review than I couldve pulled off. I was focusing more on the "terrible roar" (and jesus, it was) of the collapse, but the humanizing aspect is quite powerful as well.

I remember at the end, being greatful this was captured on tape, if even accidentally.

 

I'm trying to find this one on Ebay now, but again, ive got a copy here and i dont mind making mroe when i can.

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