Discovery Channel 9/11 After the Towers Fell (2010)

Discovery Channel 9/11 After the Towers Fell (2010)

Discovery Channel 9/11 After the Towers Fell is one of the first 2010 specials devoted to the attacks of September 11th 2001.

This 45 minute Discovery Channel film focuses on the search and rescue after the attacks and interviews some of those directly affected by the events of that horrific day. It is a highly emotional piece, which clearly shows how the victims of that day are still suffering.

The events in Manhattan on 9/11 are shown in chronological order and depoliticised to focus on the human tragedy. After about 5 minutes into the film the South Tower is shown to collapse. The narrator prefaces this with “Then the South Tower begins to buckle.”

It is interesting to see what footage was chosen to show the destruction of the Twin Towers. There are close-ups of initiation but there are quick cutaways to shots of the towers falling from a far distance or unstable hand-held shots. This technique may have been used to eliminate any controversy over the collapses by depriving the audience a more revelatory view of any anomalous events.

Louise Buzzelli, whose husband Pascal was on the 64th floor of the North Tower, comments, “It was so bizarre and so unreal!” Yet she is quick to reason with her following comments “Obviously the two building were almost identical and if that one fell, then, you know, chances are, his was going to fall next!”

Of the 45 minutes of this documentary, one minute (approximately) is devoted to the collapse of Building 7 at 5.20 pm on 9/11. The narrator explains, “As he works on the pile, Fire-fighter Brendan Ielpi anxiously watches Building 7. Damaged by debris from the collapse of the towers, it is dangerously unstable!”

Fire-fighter Brendan lelpi then speaks “That whole building was on fire the whole morning. Everybody was still working. Looking up. Working Looking up. Working. We knew it was only a matter of time.”

The narrator continues “Just North of where the Twin Towers stood, Building 7 has been burning out of control for more than six hours. Finally it falls!”

A shot of some windows burning is shown and two shots are used to show Building 7 falling. There is no information given as to the height of the WTC7 building or if it had been evacuated of Fire fighters prior to destruction. The audience is left to wonder if anyone was hurt or killed during the collapse of Building 7.

The film moves on to the rescue efforts after the 11th of September. A title card reads “September 14th" and it is clear that ground zero is still spewing white smoke.

The film touches on the work of the FBI searching the debris at the Fresh Kills Landfill. The footage is clear to show that this is an evidentiary process.

A title card reads “Tuesday, September 18th” and a helicopter shot shows that Ground Zero is still smoking. At around 37 minutes a night shot of ground zero shows the smoke still rising and what appears to be something glowing orange in the center of the screen.

While none of those interviewed question “why?” their loved ones were put in harms way or murdered on that terrible day, it is difficult to digest the sentiment of the parting message of this Discovery Channel film “For everyone touched by 9/11, it is about finding ways to move on.”