Nearly five years ago, CBS broadcast a film titled "911." It was shot by a pair of brothers, Gideon and Jules Naudet, and their firefighter friend, James Hanlon. Their project originally was to document the life of a rookie firefighter. On the morning of Sept. 11, it turned into something entirely different. CBS is going to broadcast the documentary again on the night of Sept. 10 with some updated interviews.
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This is a meticulous docudrama about the hijacked flight whose passengers fought back against their captors on the morning of Sept. 11. Their plane ultimately crashed in rural Pennsylvania, killing all aboard. It was well received by critics and did respectable business. But box-office receipts were modest enough to confirm suspicions that many people were not ready to relive Sept. 11 in theaters.
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"World Trade Center"
This film starred Nicolas Cage in the story of two Port Authority police officers who were among the last of a handful of survivors pulled alive from the rubble of the fallen towers. Again, it made a respectable showing at the box office. But studios remain in a holding pattern, with no other major Sept. 11 projects expected soon.
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With filmmaker Michael Moore's customary blend of humor and horror, "Fahrenheit 9/11" accuses the George W. Bush camp of stealing the 2000 election, overlooking terrorism warnings before Sept. 11 and fanning fears of more attacks to secure Americans' support for the Iraq war. The movie won the top prize at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival.
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Shown at the premiere of the movie "Two Guys: on April 2, 2003, are actress Sigourney Weaver; her husband, director Jim Simpson, and playwright Anne Nelson. She wrote the play upon which the movie was based, about a firefighter preparing eulogies for colleagues killed in the World trade Center attacks.
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Mira Nair was among 11 directors (including Sean Penn) who were invited to contribute a short film, 11 minutes and 9 seconds, to this anthology of stories related to the events of that day. Nair's was based on the real story of the Hamdani family of Queens, N.Y., whose eldest son was missing after Sept. 11 and was then painted as a terrorist in the media.
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"Recent Tragic Events"
Heather Graham was one of the stars of this play by Craig Wright when it opened in New York City Sept. 28, 2003. (Here she is shown on her way to the opening night party.) The story centers around a young man and woman on a blind date on the night of the attacks. In his review for the New York Times, Ben Brantley wrote of this work: "It's as if Pirandello had been hired to do the season finale for 'Friends.'"
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"The Mercy Seat"
Playwright Neil LaBute, shown at left, chose to illustrate the impact of the events of Sept. 11 by creating two characters who greet the event not with open-hearted heroism, but with mundane self-absorption. They're in the midst of an office affair as the world tumbles down around them.
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Playwrights Theresa Rebeck, left, and playwright Alexandra Gersten-Vassilaros, right, are shown here at the opening night party for their off-Broadway play, "Omnium Gatherum," Sept. 25, 2003. "Omnium Gatherum" means "a collection of peculiar souls"; in this play, they gather at a dinner party for conversation and confrontation.