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7 new documentaries about the events, aftermath of 9/11

An American flag hangs on a piece of steel on a memorial to the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center in front of lower Manhattan and One World Trade Center in New York City on Aug. 16, 2021 in Jersey City, New Jersey.
An American flag hangs on a piece of steel on a memorial to the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center in front of lower Manhattan and One World Trade Center in New York City on Aug. 16, 2021 in Jersey City, New Jersey. (Getty Images)

Sept. 11 marks 20 years since terrorists attacked the United States of America.

Since then, dozens of documentaries have been made, concerning the events that led up to and took place on that day.

The following are documentaries that have been released or will be released this year, on the somber 20th anniversary.


1. ‘9/11: One Day in America’ (National Geographic)

Commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, the six-part limited series has been created in collaboration with the 9/11 Memorial and Museum.

The documentary focuses on telling the emotional story of that day through people who survived the attacks.

“I ran through three flights of stairs that were on fire. I had burns on 60% of my body. But I was alive,” one interviewee said.

“There were signs of devastation everywhere, but there were also signs of hope. Those little moments of caring for another were the difference between life and death.”

The documentary is streaming on National Geographic now.

Click or tap here to watch the trailer.


2. ‘Turning Point: 9/11 and the War on Terror’ (Netflix)

“Modern history can be divided into two time frames: before 9/11 and after 9/11,” one interviewee states in the docuseries.

Covering everything from the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 to the U.S.’s “breathtaking collapse back into the hands of the Taliban,” this five-part docuseries provides an array of perspectives and personal stories on how the events of Sept. 11, 2001 changed the trajectory of our nation.

During the year of the 20th anniversary, “Turning Point” shows how history is continuing to be made today.

The series is streaming on Netflix now.

Click or tap here to watch the trailer.


3. ‘NYC Epicenters: 9/11 → 2021 ½' (HBO)

In a documentary that radiates the diversity of New York City, stars, professionals and first responders lend their opinions and insights on everything that’s taken place from the events on Sept. 11, 2001, to the state of our nation today.

“When I was on the pile, when I was part of that effort, you really felt the love of humanity right there. It was -- it just lifted you,” Steve Buscemi said.

The documentary, which was directed by Spike Lee, includes interviews with Jon Stewart, Rosie Perez, Jeffrey Wright, John Turturro; politicians Chuck Schumer, Bill De Blasio, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ron Kim, Mondaire Jones, Stacey Plaskett, Ritchie Torres, Muriel Bowser; medical professionals Dr. Anthony Fauci, Dr. Ian Lipkin, Dr. Fritz Francois; NYFD members; machine operators from Ground Zero; engineers and architects; news anchors and reporters.

“We were driven together,” New York news anchor Chuck Scarborough says. “What COVID did was drive us apart.”

The four-part series has begun to release one episode at a time on HBO, through Sept. 11.

Click or tap here to watch the trailer.


4. ‘9/11: Two decades later, two landmark documentaries’ (BBC)

From the perspective of military members and former President George HW Bush, among others, this two-part documentary tells a different perspective of Sept. 11, 2001.

“The fate of those passengers was sealed,” a former military member says. “Our job was to prevent more deaths. Neither one of us would be coming back.”

The documentary Is streaming now on BBC iPlayer.

Click or tap here to watch the trailer.


5. ‘Generation 9/11 (PBS)

“Of the almost 3,000 people who died on 9/11, around one hundred were fathers of babies who were not yet born,” the synopsis states.

This documentary follows the lives of some of those children and families, through their intimate and individual stories, to explore how the U.S. has evolved since that day.

The documentary can be seen now on PBS.

Click or tap here to watch the trailer.


6. ‘CIA vs. Bin Laden: First In’ (REELZ)

This documentary dives into details about the Central Intelligence Agency’s 10-year hunt for Osama bin Laden, with interviews from former directors, CIA case officers, military leaders, members of European intelligence services and a U.S. Congressman who was directly involved in finding and killing Bin Laden.

“Many of the people most deeply involved with the hunt and killing of bin Laden have been reluctant to share their stories, until now,” the synopsis states. “There was simply no benefit for these quiet professionals, their families, or the agencies they served to be in the public eye, but they have collectively decided that now is the time to go on record and tell their stories.”

The documentary will be available to watch on REELZ on Sunday at 8 p.m. ET.

Click or tap here to watch the trailer.


7. ‘No Responders Left Behind’ (Discovery+)

Did you know comedian Jon Stewart has been in a nearly decades-long battle, fighting for first responders?

Alongside 9/11 responder and activist John Feal and FDNY hero Ray Pfeifer, the men have fought U.S. Congress to try to help terminally ill 9/11 responders -- ones who are dying from toxins released at Ground Zero -- get the health care and compensation they deserve.

This documentary, filmed over the course of five years, follows the trio’s continuous battle for thousands who are now suffering life-threatening and financially devastating illnesses.

This documentary will begin streaming Sept. 9 on Discovery+.

Click or tap here to watch the trailer.


Will you be watching any of these?


About the Author:

Dawn is a Digital Content Editor who has been with Graham Media Group since April 2013. She graduated from Texas State University with a degree in electronic media.