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04 October 2003

September 11, through different eyes

It has been out for more than a year, 11'09"01 - 11 SEPTEMBER, a collection of short films by a number of different directors. Each was given total freedom of speech to make a film of 11 minutes, 9 seconds and 1 frame about September 11 2001. For some, this meant nothing short of criticising the Americans and stating that they had it coming. Others use the opportunity to point out that to some people inthe world, getting their food that day was more important than what happened in some rich country at the other end of the world.

The official site is in French but has personal notes fom all 11 directors, of which only 1 is American: Sean Penn.

A beautiful and courageous project that opened the Venice Filmfestival in 2002 and saw Ken Loach win the prize for his contribution.

The film was more or less banned inthe US because it is very critical of US foreign policy. For example the way it helped Chilian dictator Pinochet grab the power on september 11 in 1973.

I fast forwarded through some of the films, but even so, all of them had a thoroughly original approach. One of the best had an almost black screen for 11 minutes with only sound.

I would encourage everyone to see the film (or rather, collection) if they can. And maybe you too will be touched by the African kids who try to capture Bin Laden to get the reward of $25 million so that they can give medical aid to children in their country. Only to miss him by 30 seconds at the airport. As they stand there and look at the sky, they ask: Bin Laden, please come back, we need you here.

God knows it is what George Bush is thinking now: Bin Laden, please come back, I need you.


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