New York City is a special place that acts as a microcosm of the rest of America, and now one of its greatest filmmakers is turning the lens on the city itself. Famed auteur Spike Lee directed the upcoming HBO miniseries, NYC EPICENTERS 9/11 -> 2021½, about how things have both changed and stayed the same in the Big Apple since the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. A trailer for the series was released today, sharing both the series’ tone and many interview subjects.
From September 11 to a Global Pandemic
NYC EPICENTERS 9/11 -> 2021½ will air over the course of four weekends, beginning on Sunday, August 22, 2021. It will continue for the next two Sundays before airing its final episode on the twentieth anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center on Saturday, September 11, 2021. The four-part docuseries follows the changes that New York City has undergone in the past twenty years.
The official synopsis for the series reads:
Beginning with the ongoing global pandemic and the urgency of the Black Lives Matter movement, Lee traverses through time to the devastating terrorist attacks of 9/11. This provocative series is an epic chronicle of life, loss and survival in what Lee calls “the greatest city on this God’s earth.”
The documentary series will feature more than 200 interviews with residents from all walks of life about what makes New York, New York. He included first responders, politicians, and journalists, along with entertainers and more. Interview subjects include Jon Stewart, Rosie Perez, Jeffrey Wright, John Turturro, Chuck Schumer, Bill De Blasio, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ron Kim, Mondaire Jones, Stacey Plaskett, Ritchie Torres, and Muriel Bowser. He also interviews actor Steve Buscemi, who volunteered as a firefighter with the first response teams at Ground Zero, along with NYFD members, machine operators, engineers, architects, news anchors, and medical professionals like Dr. Anthony Fauci (who was born in Brooklyn).
You Can’t Stop New York
The past year and change have been challenging, to say the least. It looks like at least some of the documentary series is dedicated to the fighting, resilient spirit of New York City and its residents, giving us all hope for a better future.
“2020 I think put a spotlight on the best and the worst of this country, and New York City was the epicenter of the whole thing,” says CNN political commentator Van Jones in the trailer.
NBC 4 New York News Anchor Chuck Scarborough compared the events of the September 11 attacks and the COVID-19 pandemic by how people reacted. After September 11, “we were driven together. What Covid did was drive us apart.”
Now, New York’s 8th Congressional District Representative, Hakeem Jeffries, hopes New York can show the rest of the world how to bounce back once more.
“A knockdown is different than a knockout. And a setback is nothing more than a setup for a comeback. Get ready for the great New York City comeback, once again,” he said.
NYC EPICENTERS 9/11 -> 2021½ premieres on HBO on August 22, 2021, and will be available to stream on HBO Max.
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