102 Minutes That Changed America (2008)

28 Oct

Review of the documentary 102 Minutes That Changed America (2008)

Translating real events into a compelling movie can be very difficult. You have to stick to the facts, but also still tell a story within those facts. Various movies have been made related to 9/11 and although they might have captured part of what happened you still know you are watching something which was recreated. If you were around on 9/11 you will remember the day vividly. Most people will know what they were doing and how they heard about it. They remember the impact it had on everybody, even if you were not living in the United States. Over the years I’ve seen a lot of movies and documentaries about it and was not expecting this documentary to add much. As it turned out I was quite wrong.

Review of the documentary 102 Minutes That Changed America (2008)

The stunning thing about this documentary is that it doesn’t have any narration, no interviews and it does not analyze the event. It is a raw, almost realtime depiction of the day. It uses some news footage, but also a lot of footage shot by New Yorkers looking at the event through the window of their homes or people filming from other vantage points. The result of it is a documentary which manages to convey the feelings of that day. The confusion about it possibly being an accident when the first plane hit and the fear that struck when the second one made it clear it was terrorism. The footage often being shot on camcorders only brings it all closer to home.

Review of the documentary 102 Minutes That Changed America (2008)

People who were still too young at the time to realise what was going on (or were not born yet) will definitely be able to understand what it was like to experience that day. The (close to) real-time format of this documentary makes sure of that. If you were fully aware what was going at the time this documentary also has a lot of impact, especially knowing what will eventually happen. Because of the real-time format you are anticipating those events and time then seems to stretch even longer, making all the emotions you hear people express during the event even more poignant. It made me relive that day when even work over here stopped (I was supposed to have a conference call with someone from the US that day) and when the world as we knew it started changing.


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