‘9/11: Inside the President’s War Room’ Review: Candid Accounts of What Took Place That Fateful Day

Even though the year 2001 was 20 years ago, the events that took place in September that year are etched firmly in memory and in annual commemoration. September 11, 2001, more commonly known as simply “9/11”, will forever be remembered for the tragic set of attacks that took place. Even now, with the drama surrounding America’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, you can’t talk about the reasoning behind our occupation without mentioning 9/11. The two are directly correlated.

America has only itself to blame for a lot of the atrocities that have taken place within itself. Acts that were the result of greed and racism dominate the long list of horrible occurrences that’ve happened here. What makes September 11th different is that we, as a country, didn’t attack ourselves. Outside entities infiltrated our country and used our own luxuries against us. It’s the one and only event where the entire country can mourn together. Because things like domestic terrorism, racism, and police brutality fall solely on the shoulders of White America.

The film gives candid, never-before-seen insight, on the happenings of that fateful day from President Bush and his closest advisors. Karl Rove, Condoleezza Rice, Dick Cheney, and others detail personal moments, thoughts, and conversations that took place during that frantic time period.

The bulk of the film takes place over the course of the day (9/11), starting with an early morning run with President Bush before the historic moment when he speaks at an elementary school. One of the more interesting angles was seeing the viewpoint a student that attended class that day.

Naturally, I have to give a *trigger warning* as copious people were personally affected by this tragedy and some might be unable to handle watching the towers collapse all over again. Personally, I saw four different clips that were totally new to me, one of which, gave a jaw-dropping angle showing the second plane crashing into the second tower.

Directed by Adam Wishart and executive produced by Simon Finch and Neil Grant, 9/11: Inside the President’s War Room is a solid doc that’s worth your time. By now, I’m sure many of you have seen every possible PBS, CNN, fill-in-the-blank special covering that day from every angle, but this would actually be worth your time. We’re introduced to a myriad of cabinet members and high ranking officials, even press that traveled with the president that day. Giving multiple staff members the opportunity to detail personal accounts of that day with thoughts and stories helps present a true, first-person, behind-the-scenes experience. For young people, it’ll be a good way to tie together what happened in 2001 with what’s happening right now with Afghanistan. Now, when they hear “20-year war” they’ll know exactly what its referring to.

The film gets an 8.5 out of 10. We all know what happens (and if we didn’t, we’re reminded every year) but it’s the personal touch given to all of the stories that makes this project special. You can experience 9/11: Inside the President’s War Room exclusively on Apple TV+ starting September 1, 2021.

-Jon J.

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