Here’s something I heard about a while back that really piqued my interest. ‘The Falling Man’ is a documentary directed by Henry Singer and produced for Britain’s Channel 4. It actually premiered on Canada’s CBC in September of last year, but unfortunately I missed the broadcast. Luckily, the other day I was searching around Google Video and noticed the film posted in full! ANYWAYS, here’s what it’s about:
September 11 2001 was a day that forever changed America. It was a day of many stories: stories of survivors, stories of heroes. But one story simply disappeared. The story of the people who began to fall just minutes after the first plane hit. They were called the jumpers, but soon they were never spoken about again, as if they had never existed. One photograph stood for them all. Anyone who saw it never forgot it. It is one of the most unforgettable images from 9/11: a photograph of a falling man, frozen in mid-air, perfectly parallel with the lines of the World Trade Center. The image ran in newspapers and magazines across the world over the following week, and should have remained one of the defining images of that terrible day. Instead, it was quickly airbrushed out of history. 9/11: The Falling Man follows the trail of that photograph: of the photographer who nearly lost his lifeshooting it; of the citizens who decried it; of the editors who published it and then reluctantly banned it; of the journalists who tried to uncover the falling man’s identity; of the wife and daughters of the identified man and many others. The film asks if this single, harrowing image can help to define our memory of the awful suffering of that day, and help history to give a proper due to the jumpers of 9/11.
So 9/11 documentaries can go either way. Some are horribly cheesy and incredibly tasteless, while others are tasteful and insightful. The Falling Man definitely stands out as an interesting look at one aspect of 9/11 that hasn’t been done to death: how the media handled the situation and how society reacted to their decisions. How bout I just let you check the film out for yourself. Have a look below and leave your comments.
Video: The Falling Man