DIRECTED BY Various
STARRING Ernest Borgnine, Maryam Karimi, Dzana Pinjo
Opens December 27, Cert 12, 135 mins
This fascinating project is the brainchild of French producer Alain Brigand, who asked 11 directors to contribute a film lasting 11 minutes, 9 seconds and one frame which "evoke the planetary echo" of September 11, 2001. Needless to say, the diverse nationalities and cultures of the directors involved makes for a broad spread of opinion. Ken Loach focuses on September 11, 1970, the date when a CIA-sponsored coup deposed Allende's government in Chile, an event that led to the Pinochet regime's appalling abuse of human rights. Loach (like Japanese director Shohei Imamura, who reminds viewers of Hiroshima) suggests 9/11 was an inevitable act of karma.
Other directors include Danis Tanovic, Amos Gitai, Idrissa Ouedraogo and Mira Nair. Amores Perros director Alejandro Iñárritu uses Godardian trickery to create a powerful elegy, and Sean Penn offers a moving study of loss by making an American widower a microcosm of the grief felt after September 11. Best of all is Iranian director Samira 'Blackboards/The Apple' Makhmalbaf's delicate, thoughtful film in which a teacher on the Afghanistan/Iran border struggles to explain the attacks to her pupils. Overall, 11'09"01 is both a moving memorial and a round table discussion on celluloid, and a fine example of just how thought-provoking cinema can be.
Rating: 4 / 10