This Top 10 List is NOT a collection of 9/11 conspiracy videos, but rather, a wider perspective on what I believe are some of the best documentaries made about ‘September 11, 2001‘… Hope you enjoy!
#1 – 9/11 – The Filmmakers’ Commemorative Edition (2002)
The ONLY documentary about September 11, 2001, that was actually filmed on September 11, 2001. It is arguably the most ‘accidental’ masterpiece ever filmed.
The Naudet Brothers (Jules & Gedeon, two French documentary filmmakers) along with their friend James Hanlon, (a N. Y City Firefighter), were shooting a documentary about a rookie firefighter, when all of a sudden, they were violently thrust into the front row of history.
Their cameras captured everything: the confusion; the panic; the horror; the devastation; and the incredible solidarity of human spirit that was on full display that tragic day.
“What emerged is an unforgettably powerful visual document and a stirring tribute to real-life heroes who, in their city’s darkest hour, rose to extraordinary acts of courage and compassion.” 911memorial.org
#2 – 102 Minutes That Changed America (2008)
Using only the video & audio footage recorded by various people that were in N. Y City on September, 11, 2001, ‘102 Minutes That Changed America‘ is breathtaking in its simplicity and power.
The footage is so raw and present, the emotional reactions of the people involved, so guttural and heart-wrenching, that the viewer quickly becomes another person in the room witnessing the horror… another person on the streets running for their lives .. another witness to the landmark event that marked modern history.
“102 Minutes That Changed America is a 102-minute American television special documentary film that was produced by the History channel and premiered commercial-free on September 11, 2008, marking the seventh anniversary of the September 11 attacks.” Wikipedia
#3 – Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004)
Micheal Moore was awarded the Palme d’Or, the top honor at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival, for this powerhouse exposé of the George W. Bush presidency. Moore leaves no stone unturned and no government agency untouched in this scathing retelling of recent history.
- the fraudulent 2000 US Presidential election that brought Bush to power;
- the incompetence shown by the Bush administration pre-9/11 as multiple terrorist warnings were ignored
- the financial and very close personal connection that existed between The Bush Family & Bin Laden Family;
- the campaign of ‘fear’ that the Bush administration engaged in to soften America’s appetite for the passing of The Patriot Act
- the outright lies & media manipulation that were used to lead America into an illegal and immoral invasion of Iraq;
- the close ties of many members of the Bush administration with the Defense contractors that profit from war;
- and the hypocrisy in glorifying ‘the troops’ as the buildup of war heightens & then ignoring their needs when they get back home
Moore’s familiar humorous narration has more of a sardonic, serious tone this time around as he deals with these important issues in a manner that only Micheal Moore truly can.
“It’s Michael Moore’s most significant film, and one whose effects are still being felt today ” The Guardian
#4 – Loose Change (2005)
When originally released online in 2005, Loose Change, caused quite the sensation. Some might argue, that it caused a digital revolution.
It quickly became the most downloaded, discussed, distributed, dissected and debunked documentary of all time. It spawned 100s of similar, low-budget, 9/11 conspiracy videos and in essence, gave rise to the ‘Youtube documentary’ that helped facilitate the rise of the 9/11 “truth” movement.
Written and directed by Dylan Avery, this stylish documentary argues that the September 11, 2001 attacks were planned and conducted by elements within the United States government, and bases those claims on perceived anomalies in the ‘official’ record; countless ‘coincidences’ within sectors of government that failed to prevent the attacks; scientific disagreement surrounding certain government ‘conclusions’; and a lot of imaginative conjecture by young Mr Avery to ‘what really happened’ on that fateful day.
“Loose Change was initially conceived in 2002 as a narrative feature film about three friends who realize there is a coverup of the events of September 11th.” loosechange911
#5 – National Geographic: Inside 9/11 (2005)
Incredible 3-part documentary by National Geographic Channel that takes the viewer through a very detailed, brilliantly edited, and highly informative journey through history, culminating with the terrorist attacks on the morning of September 11, 2001.
War on America: The first part examines the buildup that led to Sep 11
Zero Hour: The second part details how the events of Sep 11 unfolded
The War Continues: The third part deals with the post-9/11 events leading up to the killing of Osama bin Laden.
“Plans to attack the World Trade Center with hijacked passenger planes were found on a lap top six years before the tragedy. Police seized the laptop – it belonged to the terrorist who carried out the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. But the plot was not prevented. Why?” NationalGeographic
#6 – 9/11: Press for Truth (2006)
Powerful and emotionally-charged documentary, that introduces the viewer to three of the Jersey Girls, ( 4 women who lost their husbands in the September 11 attacks) as they embark on a fact-finding mission to Washington DC seeking answers to the many lingering questions that they still had about that day.
- The response (or lack of) by the Bush administration and the Military as the events of that day were unfolding
- Why were so many pre-9/11 ‘Intelligence’ terrorist warnings ignored and why weren’t precautions taken?
- Why did it take so long to establish a 9/11 Commission and then have it be underfunded and highly secretive?
- Why was the Bush administration doing everything they could to ensure that no one was held accountable for the many failings of that day?
- Why was the media so complacent about connecting the dots?
“Filmmakers Ray Nowosielski and John Duffy first became interested in making a film about the September 11 attacks when they found Paul Thompson’s Complete 911 Timeline website in spring 2003. After obtaining funding, they met Thompson in September 2004, who agreed to let them adapt his work.” Wikipedia
#7 – 9/11: The Falling Man (2006)
The Falling Man is a highly controversial photograph taken by AP photographer Richard Drew of a man falling from the North Tower of the World Trade Center during the terror attacks on September 11, 2001. The photo was widely viewed that day and after much social backlash was pulled from public view.
Brilliant documentary by Henry Singer that examines the events that transpired that led to that photograph being taken and the attempts made to try to identify just who that Falling Man was.
“What is extraordinary beyond the graphic composition of this image — the parallel lines, the light on one of the towers — is the fact that the Falling Man, as he has come to be known, looks so composed. ” Henry Singer
#8 – Inside the Twin Towers (2006)
Powerful documentary by Richard Dale, that uses dramatic reconstructions, archival news footage & eye-witness testimonies to offer the viewer a unique glimpse inside the Twin Towers on that fateful morning of September 11, 2001.
The film showcases the heroic and tragic stories of a few people from inside both towers: some who survived, and unfortunately, some who did not.
“Brian Clark was one of only four people in the South Tower to escape from a floor above the plane’s impact, escaping from his office on the 84th floor. No one escaped above the impact point in the North Tower. ” Wikipedia
#9 – 9/11: Phone Calls from the Towers (2009)
Haunting, heart-wrenching documentary from James Kent, that tells the story of a few of the victims trapped in The Twin Towers on September 11, 2001, through the emotional phone conversations with loved ones, the hectic 911 calls with emergency services and the missed voicemails that they left behind.
The families chose to release their audio recordings as a way to share the stories of their loved ones and as a possible cathartic step towards healing.
“Dad-of-three Kevin, 45, was one of the few people still on the line to emergency services as the South Tower collapsed. The Aon Corporation vice president’s frantic call ended abruptly with screams and the sound of debris falling on him.” Mirror
#10 – September 11: The New Pearl Harbor (2013)
Incredible 5 hour documentary by Massimo Mazzucco, that does a brilliant job laying out 12 years of public debate on the ‘official account’ of 9/11 while drawing very eerily similar connections between the attack on Pearl Harbor on the morning of December 7, 1941 and the terrorist attacks on N.Y City on the morning of September 11, 2001.
Both sides’ arguments (the conspiracy theorists & the debunkers) are presented fairly & accurately and the viewer is then left to ponder on the questions that still remain after all the facts are in.
“There have been several good films and videos about 9/11. But the film by award-winning film-maker Massimo Mazzucco Released in 2013 is in a class by itself.” David Ray Griffin