The political becomes personal in 9/11: Press for Truth
, which examines the World Trade Center attacks from the perspective of the families who lost loved ones. Written and directed by Ray Nowosielski, the documentary draws partly from Paul Thompsons website-turned-book, The Terror Timeline
, and much of the commentary comes from Lorie Van Auken, Patty Casazza, and Mindy Kleinberg, three of the "Jersey Girls." Along with Kristen Breitweiser, the 9/11 widows have become activists in its wake. As Casazza says, "We all had questions...and wanted answers." The primary one was: How could this happen? Interestingly, two of the women voted for Bush. Casazza adds, "Even though he should have been our biggest advocate, he turned into one of our biggest adversaries." Together with eight other spouses, parents, etc., they form the Family Steering Committee and lobby for an independent commission, which comes to pass, but fails to deliver the goods. The widows find more useful information in Thompson's timeline, which he compiled using material in the public domain (Thompson also appears in the film).
The style of 9/11: Press for Truth couldn't be more conventional--talking heads, television footage, omniscient narrator, relentless score--but the personal approach makes it a valuable addition to the rapidly-growing list of 9/11 documentaries. The point is, to quote Patti Smith, "people have the power"--people like the Jersey Girls, Paul Thompson, and all the other ordinary citizens who have kept pressure on our elected officials and the news media to dig deeper and work harder. --Kathleen C. Fennessy