One of the Darkest Days in American History: 11’09”01 (2002)

By Maria Moss and Sabrina Völz

September 11, 2021, marks the 20th anniversary of the most horrendous terrorist attack on American soil. In a series of four coordinated attacks on the World Trade Center’s north and south towers, the west side of the Pentagon, and United Airlines flight 93 that crashed near Shanksville, PA, almost 3,000 people lost their lives.

11’09”01: September 11 provides one of the first cinematic responses to the attacks as well as to terrorism around the world. In films lasting exactly 11 minutes, 9 seconds, and 1 frame, 11 acclaimed filmmakers from 11 different countries and cultures provide us with not only deeply touching, but also provocative and disturbing moments.

No restrictions were imposed on content or approach, and not everyone will agree with the deeply personal responses and often controversial criticisms of the filmmakers – among them Sean Penn, Ken Loach, Mira Nair and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu. In the United States, people can watch the film on Amazon Prime; in other places of the world, locating it is a bit more of a challenge. However, you can watch episode 10, “The United States of America,” directed by Sean Penn (starring Ernest Borgnine) below:

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