September 11th : A nice surprise!

Article published on Nov. 22, 2002
community published
Article published on Nov. 22, 2002

This article has not been vetted by an editor at Paris HQ

11 directors, 11 viewpoints from different origins and cultures, to evoke one image, the infamous and terrible September 11th

More anguish for the spectator already engulfed by the tide of media attention that has covered this attempt at western apocalypse. There exists, although to a lesser degree than before, a fear of having to once again ingest the same images, the same sounds, and along with them the same superficial and frustrating reflections on Islam, terrorism, good, evil, the US (it is up to you to choose which terms belong with which category). This is precisely the case in certain short films, notably that of the Mexican Alejando Gonzales Inarritu (Rotten Love) who attempts to give us vertigo with a black screen (which miraculously becomes white at the end), but sinks into the banality of a disconcerting radio and TV archive approach.

Other towers, other victims

In contrast, for others the constraint of dealing with a single event is quickly overcome, and here the results are magnificent. Ken Loach (Bread and Roses), Danis Tanovic (No Mans Land), and Shoshei Imamura (Languille) offer the spectator a lesson in contemporary history by reminding him, each in his own way, of other September 11ths just as cruel and tragic. Finally, the anguished spectator emerges satisfied. Of course, he has seen a large part of the wars of his century evoked in just over two hours and has a head full of the sounds of cannons on getting up from his seat, but he has also laughed, particularly so in the naïve film of Idrissa Ouedraogo (Burkina Fasso), and above all he has seen other towers and other victims. The United States do not have a monopoly on drama and atrocity; it is good to hear it once in a while.