Review: Memory Box: Echoes of 9/11 (#TIFF21)

MEMORY BOX: ECHOES OF 9/11 (#TIFF21)

20 years after the horrific attacks on September 11th, 2001, there have been plenty of documentaries exploring each and every angle. That’s what makes Memory Box: Echoes of 9/11 so remarkable, its ability to dive deeper into the unique personal stories of many of those impacted, from the individuals themselves.

Filmmakers David Belton and Bjørn Johnson build their film around footage recorded in the months following the attacks, gathered by artist Ruth Sergel who invited passerby into a plywood recording booth to share their experiences. Decades later, many of the same passerby return to provide an update on how their lives have changed. As can be expected, Memory Box: Echoes of 9/11 is an emotional powerhouse of a film, weaving historical footage in with the narration provided by the participants to bring viewers back to the traumatic events and aftermath. Hearing firsthand from a range of individuals left to pick up the pieces after personal experiences and tragic loss, and the transformation of said experiences into unparalleled resilience, will leave viewers both reflective and inspired.

What is remarkable is how the film reminds the viewer of the impact the events of the day had, from the victims who lost their lives to the first responders, those of the Muslim faith to those who narrowly escaped, and everyone in between. The filmmakers turn to these individuals to tell the story, supplementing their tales with all-too-familiar footage, to deliver a one-of-a-kind documentary that will touch your core.

Memory Box: Echoes of 9/11 is now available on Peacock.

Rating: 5/5

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