"What Happened on September 11" is an acceptable title for this half-hour documentary because it summarizes overall fairly accurately what happened on than fateful day now almost 20 years ago already. This is a 2019 release by HBO and it was directed by Amy Schatz and this is in fact not her only new documentary short film on this subject. Another focuses on people who were high school students when it happened (probably the one with better Oscar chances) and this one here focuses on those who weren't even born and how they learn about what happened. Be it at school, through creative projects or by talking to people with a direct connection to the events, namely at the museum dedicated to this tragedy. We see two people speak to the group of children at said museum. First would be a man who worked at the World Trade Center that day, but survived, just like everybody in his team. The other would be the son of a NY firefighter who died that day. First-hand stories are always the best, even if I was a bit confused here because he answered one question that he did not become a firefighter and yet he wore a NYFD shirt, which then was I guess just to promote and support the department. But it is not that important. What is more important to me, honestly, is that I must say I did not feel really the kids' actions were authentic and not scripted. I mean I obviously do not have the evidence, but what they ask and later on also say in interviews did not feel in a way as if it was really coming not just out of their mouths, but also out of their minds. But that is for you to decide. For me it was a negative deal breaker though. You can add to that that honestly this documentary does not really offer anything new on the subject that was not shown (probably several times) on other documentaries again. So I don't particularly get why this was made, especially why Schatz made two films on the subject now. I mean I am all for it if you manage to bring something new to the table after all these years and uncountable amount of films made about this, but it is not the case here. Still the tree story was somewhat nice at the ending, but even this was ruined by the guys commenting on it and the fairly hyperactive lady that was difficult to stomach. Really a pity because this was the part where the film could have made a difference. Also one thing I wanna add where I felt this film really messed up. You could almost say it was a whole area. If they already shove the big letter of something around the words of "who did it and why" into our faces, then an accurate answer would have been appropriate. Needed in fact. Instead we see a Muslim mother and daughter sit there saying. Yes they did it, but Islam has nothing to do with it. Yes it does. This is where the film downright lies into our faces. There is a double-digit fugure of specific calls to arms, calls to murder in the Koran. There is no denying. It is there for everybody to read in officially approved translations into all kinds of languages. Atta, Bin Laden etc. planed this and made it happen because they were religious extremists and their hatred is fueled by the Koran and they followed exactly what is written in there while their guilt is taken away from them by the Prophet Mohammed as also one sura explains that whenever you kill somebody who does not believe in Allah, it's not you who pulls the trigger. It is Allah himself. So the political Islam is completely behind this enormous act of violence. This is a subject that was not only not touched at all in this documentary, but actually it was handled in a way that included lies and ignorance. Negative deal-breaker. Facts were sacrificed in the face of political correctness, just the way Hollywood wants to see it. Otherwise it never would have made his way to HBO. Impossible to approve of this documentary in the face of that, even if it states facts for the most part. But I would not want my children to be exposed to lies (it is a film mostly for children to learn what happened back then, especially with the protagonists) when it comes to such a world-changing event because hands-down, everybody who was 10 (maybe 12) years or older still remembers this day precisely. I was 16 and I know I do. So it deserves better elaboration on who did it and why, especially because it is such a crucial subject even today almost two decades (and thousands of Islamic terrorist attacks) later. Thumbs-down for this one. Not recommended.
What Happened on September 11 (2019 TV Movie)
User ReviewsReview this title
Tolerable wrap-up of the 9/11 terrorist attacks that does not really offer anything new though
14 October 2019Warning: Spoilers
A Thoughtful Short Documentary for Children that's Short on Facts
7 December 2019
This film explores how children are taught about what happened on 9/11 and the tools and methods used to help them understand and cope with the painful subject. In that respect it's well done. I'm critical of the film for what was left out. Three buildings collapsed in New York on September 11th 2001, not two. World Trade Center Building 7 (WTC 7), a 47-story office building also collapsed. Why was that omitted?
Not What Really Happened
21 November 2019
I get the idea that this documentary is for kids, but it should show more sides of the facts, like theories, political facts and so on. As it's for kid's eyes i give a 6/10. On the other hand, if it was for adults i would give 4 or 3. The most important point of this documentary is to analise the kids interpetation from what they know, and the purpose to give more information to the children that are watching this 30 minutes is left apart.