The morning of Tuesday, September 11, 2001 two highjacked planes attack the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York and another plane hits the Pentagon near Washington DC. The attacks, claimed by Al Qaeda , cost nearly three thousand people their lives.
9/11 has, even today, a huge impact on the world. Precisely fifteen years later KRO-NCRV broadcasts the documentary Shadow of the Disaster: 15 years after 9/11 made by production company LND Media. In this film five Dutch New Yorkers are followed while looking back on this fateful day and beyond that. All of them have experienced these attacks up close and personal. Shadow of the Disaster is a poignant documentary about the permanent scarring, caused by the iconic attacks right in the heart of America. Even 15 years later, the worldwide impact is still not easy to determine.
Jurriaan Veth, manager of the Observatory Deck on the 107th floor of the southtower, survived the disaster by dumb luck. Chloé from Waeyenberge employed at the Belgian consulate, saw the first plane just above her head before it hit the northtower. Photographer René Clement tries to come as close to the crashsite, later called Ground Zero, as possible. A place where everyone flees from. Journalist David Hammelburg is hard at work so at least he isn’t able to feel the horror and the emotions associated with this disaster. Consul General Bob Hiensch is trying to trace thousands of Dutch, while telephone traffic in New York is completely paralyzed.
The Shadow of Disaster follows the protagonists on the same route they walked September 11th, 2001. The mosaic film shows their reflections on the attacks and it’s ultimate, international consequences, in a touching mix between present and past.
The documentary film also shows fundamental changes in American society, put in motion by the 9/11 attacks. Also Americans are present in the film, including Mohammad Razvi, who fights tirelessly against discrimination. And concierge Dino, who still can see the black cloud over the southern Manhattan skyline: “It was a cloud straight from hell.” The New Yorkers tell about intolerance, insecurity and the importance of forgetting and forgiving.