Flawed but fascinating
By a customer
, 18 Feb 2009
Dont let the predominance of English speaking contributors in the first half of this documentary fool you; this is a largely Italian production. That, of course, is not a problem in itself but endless English voiceovers in the second half do begin to grate. Id much prefer to read subtitles and hear the real voices of the interviewees, although perhaps thats just personal preference. What I found quite strange is how the Italianism, for want of a better word, creeps in to the film increasingly as if the film makers are trying to pass it off as an English language film for the first half hour or so. Then, an Italian Nobel prize winning physicist appears and you think fine, then you get the Italian Air Force talking about how hostage situations are dealt with and you think did they have a day to kill in Italy? But by the end youve got seemingly random Italian actors presenting the film makers script in slightly bizarre and dramatic ways. By then youve realized youre watching an Italian film, which is fine, I just wish it had felt like that from the start and not slipped into it over the course of its running time. And I wish theyd kept the actors well away I guess they couldnt find anyone to cover the particular sound bites they needed
There are other problems too. Most of which are matters of presentation: hugely uninspired interview locations (blank backgrounds, hotel rooms etc), questionable camera work (do we really need to go so close on that particularly sweaty face & shiny nose?); a lack of quality editing (you hear a guy apologize for shifting around in his seat mid-sentence you can cut that out yknow?!), not to mention the strange decision to spend the little money they so obviously had on animations that add nothing.
Nevertheless you ultimately forgive the film for these shortcomings because you can tell that this is a film from the hearts of the filmmakers and everyone (actors aside) involved. They seem determined to get their message across, even without a good budget behind them.
I wont pretend to know the truth about the 9/11 attacks, infact it strikes me that even those with something to say about potential government cover ups etc, dont quite know themselves what the real deal is are the government just covering their inadequacies or is there something even more sinister there? Nevertheless it certainly addresses most of the conspiracy theories that surround 9/11 from what seems like a well researched and reasonable position. Thats not to say that the film isnt massively one-sided, but it doesnt pretend to be anything otherwise. Interestingly the USA isnt really presented as a big, hateable superpower whose sins have come home to roost, and I think that works in the films favour, as you feel that the motivation is more to do with discovering the truth about all those deaths, rather than out of a hatred for all things modern America.
Ultimately, perhaps the main problem I had with it is that the film seems to be quite clear about what the makers believe did not happen on 9/11, but dont really offer a comprehensive, alternative version of events. That said, it certainly is fascinating to hear a wide range of opinions from people with seemingly genuine insight into the facts. This is no Roswell-style documentary full of crack-pots, that much is certain.
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