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11'09"01 review

Following last year's terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, 11 filmmakers were asked to come up with a short film relating to the events of 11 September. A daunting mission - made all the tougher because each film had to last precisely 11 minutes, nine seconds and one frame.

The resulting collaboration offers some diverse geographical, cultural and artistic perspectives on the tragic events. Samira Blackboards Makhmalbaf, for example, presents a female teacher organising a minute's silence at an Afghan refugee camp; Danis No Man's Land Tanovic shows the women of Srebrenica continuing their monthly protests despite the loss of life in America; and Idrissa Ouedraogo has a young boy in Burkina Faso on the trail of an Osama Bin Laden look-alike...

In some episodes, such as Sean Penn's and Claude Lelouch's, individuals are so preoccupied with their own problems that they remain oblivious to the TV footage of the collapsing towers. And then there's Shohei Imamura's baffling contribution, set in Japan in 1945 and featuring a man who believes he's a snake.

Some segments are stronger than others, but it's this very friction that makes 11'09""01 interesting. The best one? Ken Loach's, in which a Chilean exile remembers an earlier 9/11 when a US-sponsored coup installed the dictatorship of General Pinochet.


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