9/11: The Naudet Brothers

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Jules Clément Naudet (born Paris, France, April 26, 1973) and Thomas Gédéon Naudet (born Paris, France, March 27, 1970) are French filmmakers. The brothers, residents of the United States since 1989, were in New York City at the time of the September 11 attacks. Jules captured footage of American Airlines Flight 11 hitting the North tower of the World Trade Center. The Naudet brothers were in the process of making a documentary on New York firefighters, following Antonio “Tony” Benetatos, a rookie firefighter or “probie”, through his experiences in Fire Department of New York (FDNY) academy training and into a firehouse. On the morning September 11, Jules was taping as firefighters examined a reported gas leak when American Airlines Flight 11 flew right over him and slammed head-on into the North Tower. Although in the footage, the plane is not seen until the impact is about to happen, the sound of the jet’s engines can be heard clearly beforehand as well as the firefighter’s reaction to it. The Naudet video footage thus became some of the most comprehensive on-site coverage of the 9/11 attacks in New York. There are two points of view from two cameras shot by both brothers of events occurring at the same time. Jules went with the FDNY into the North Tower upon them seeing the impact of Flight 11 and responding. He was inside the lobby of the North Tower with the FDNY during most of the event while Gédéon was either in the firehouse with Benetatos (the sole firefighter there for some time) or just below the WTC area among the crowds. Gédéon’s footage captures the impact of United Airlines Flight 175 into the South Tower while Jules’s footage shows the effects of the collapse of the South Tower from inside the lobby of the North Tower. Along with the video tape of Pavel Hlava, the Naudets’ film is the only known footage of Flight 11 striking the World Trade Center. (A series of web camera images from Wolfgang Staehle show the approach of Flight 11 and the after-impact.)

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1 Comments / User Reviews

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  • Tuesdaymorninginsept1

    While this documentary is one of the most conclusive of that day, it is not THE most conclusive.  The real-documentary: 'Tuesday Morning in September', is the most conclusive, full continuous running account to ever surface from that day.  It is not a Ground Zero account like 9-11, but is an experience from outside of Ground Zero, with even more dynamics in itself than 9-11.. There is overdubbing in 9-11, but with 'Tuesday Morning in September', there is no narration; no overdubbing, but one can easliy follow what it going on. (from Sunrise to Sunset of that day) It is a 9/11 essential just like the French brothers', but captured from an everyday American perspective; which has much in common with most everyone outside of Ground Zero that day.

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