MetroFocus: August 31, 2021

Encore: September 10, 2021

Among the victims of the terrorist attacks on 9/11 were more than 100 expectant fathers. Two decades later, their children are coming of age. As the world marks the 20th anniversary of the tragedy, PBS follows the lives of seven of those children who lost dads they never got to meet. “Generation 9/11” director Liz Mermin and Nick Gorki, one of the seven featured in the film join us tonight to discuss the ways in which the attacks and the aftermath shaped not just their lives and their generation, but altered the course of American history.

For more information on “Generation 9/11,” click here.

TRANSCRIPT

> THIS IS 'METROFOCUS' WITH RAFAEL PI ROMAN, JACK FORD, AND JENNA FLANAGAN.

> 'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY -- SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III.

SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA PROGRAMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM.

THE PETER G. PETERSON AND JOAN GANZ COONEY FUND.

BERNARD AND DENISE SCHWARTZ.

BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG.

THE AMBROSE MONELL FOUNDATION.

AND BY -- JANET PRINDLE SEIDLER.

JODY AND JOHN ARNHOLD.

CHERYL AND PHILIP MILSTEIN FAMILY.

JUDY AND JOSH WESTON.

DR. ROBERT C. AND TINA SOHN FOUNDATION.

> BEFORE THEY WERE BORN, THEY LOST THEIR FATHERS IN THE TRAGEDY OF 9/11.

WHY DID HE HAVE TO GO TO WORK THAT SPECIFIC DAY?

THEY CAME OF AGE IN A TIME OF SOCIAL UNREST.

IT DEFINITELY TOOK A TOLL.

FORGED BY LOSS AND RESILIENCE, PBS TRACES SEVEN YOUNG LIVES AS THEY CARVE THEIR OWN PATHS IN AN EVER-CHANGING AMERICA.

I FEEL MOTIVATED TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

'GENERATION AMERICA' ONLY ON PBS.

> GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS.'

I AM JACK FORD.

THAT WAS A PREVIEW OF A DOCUMENTARY TITLES 'GENERATION 9/11.'

THE FILM EXPLORES THE LIVES OF SEVEN YOUNG PEOPLE WHO LOST THEIR FATHERS ON THAT DAY, FATHERED THEY HAD NEVER HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO MEET.

THE DOCUMENTARY EXPLORES THE WAYS 9/11 IN ITS AFTERMATH SHAPE NOT JUST THE LIVES OF THESE CHILDREN, ALSO THEIR GENERATION AND ALSO ALTERED THE COURSE OF AMERICAN HISTORY.

JOINING US NOW TO TELL US MORE ABOUT THE DOCUMENTARY FIRST IS LIZ, WHO IS THE DIRECTOR OF 'GENERATION 9/11.'

AND ALSO NICK, ONE OF THE YOUNG SEVEN PEOPLE FEATURED IN THE FILM.

WELCOME TO BOTH OF YOU.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US.

THANKS FOR HAVING US.

LET'S START FROM THE BEGINNING BECAUSE THAT'S A GOOD PLACE TO START.

LIZ, YOU WERE AN ACCOMPLISHED FILM MAKER WHO HAS FOCUSSED ON SO MANY DIFFERENT TOPICS DURING THE COURSE OF YOUR CAREER.

WHAT THEN DREW YOU TO THIS PARTICULAR PROJECT?

WELL, I HAD DONE A FIRST ANNIVERSARY 9/11 FILM.

I WAS INVOLVED IN THAT.

NOT AS A DIRECTOR, BUT AS A PRODUCER AND EDITOR.

AND I HAVEN'T TOUCHED THE SUBJECT FOR THE 19 YEARS IN BETWEEN.

I DID MAKE A FILM IN AFGHANISTAN AS A RESULT OF THAT FIRST FILM, SO I HAVE BEEN INTERESTED IN THE AFTERMATH IN A SENSE.

BUT WHAT ENTICED ME TO REVISIT IT, WHEN I FIRST GOT THE CALL FROM ARROW IMMEDIATY, ARROW PICTURES ABOUT THIS FILM, I THOUGHT, OH, I'M NOT SURE IF I WANT TO GO BACK THERE.

IT WAS A DIFFICULT EXPERIENCE MAKING A FILM ABOUT 9/11 AS I'M SURE YOU CAN IMAGINE.

BUT WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THIS FILM IS THAT IT WASN'T ABOUT THE DAY.

IT WASN'T ABOUT THE EVENT.

IT WAS ABOUT HOW IT HAD SHAPED THE LIVES OF SEVEN INDIVIDUALS AND THE WORLD THAT SHAPED THEM.

SO IT WAS BOTH A SMALL STORY ABOUT SEVEN LIVES AND A BIG STORY ABOUT THE GENERATION THAT'S GROWN UP WITH 9/11 AS A PIECE OF HISTORY.

AND I KNEW VERY LITTLE ABOUT THAT GENERATION.

I WANTED TO LEARN MORE.

AND ONE OF THE GREAT THINGS, AND I'LL GET TO THIS IN A MINUTE, BUT ONE OF THE GREAT THINGS ABOUT THIS DOCUMENT, AS YOU KNOW, SUCH A SUCCESSFUL CAREER, IS IT TAKES US ALL ON A JOURNEY AND A JOURNEY OF UNDERSTANDING AND A JOURNEY OF LEARNING HERE, AND IT IS INTERESTING TO SEE YOU SAY THAT YOU WENT ON YOUR OWN JOURNEY.

I WILL COME BACK IN A LITTLE WHILE.

I WANT TO KNOW WHAT YOU LEARNED ABOUT THAT.

NICK, THE SAME QUESTION TO YOU, IF I COULD.

WHEN YOU WERE APPROACHED ABOUT DOING THIS, WHAT WAS YOUR REACTION TO IT?

AT FIRST I WAS A LITTLE SKEPTICAL BECAUSE I HAD NEVER REALLY BEEN SOMEONE TO BE VERY PUBLIC, TO BE KIND OF IN FRONT OF EVERYONE, YOU KNOW.

I LIKED KEEPING TO MYSELF.

I LIKED KIND OF KEEPING AWAY FROM VERY PUBLIC EYE.

BUT THEN I REALLY THOUGHT ABOUT IT, AND I WAS LIKE, THIS ISN'T A STORY THAT MANY PEOPLE HEAR, YOU KNOW.

LIKE THE KIDS OF 9/11.

ALTHOUGH, I HAVE DONE A COUPLE OF THINGS IN THE PAST, ESPECIALLY LIKE MY STORY AND MY FAMILY'S STORY WAS NEVER SOMETHING THAT WE HAD VERY MUCH SPOKEN ABOUT PUBLICALLY.

AND, SO, THAT WAS SOMETHING I HAD REALLY WANTED TO DO ON TOP OF THE FACT THAT, YOU KNOW, A DOCUMENTARY IS SUPER EXCITING.

IT IS NOT EVERY DAY YOU GET TO DO A DOCUMENTARY, ESPECIALLY ONE DONE BY PBS.

SO IT WAS JUST KIND OF -- I FEEL LIKE IT WAS JUST EXCITING TO TAKE A NEW APPROACH TO LIFE IN A WAY, KIND OF GETTING MYSELF OUT OF MY COMFORT ZONE AND BECOMING A LITTLE MORE PUBLIC, NOT ONLY ABOUT MY STORY BUT WITH MY LIFE IN GENERAL.

LET ME TALK ABOUT THE LITTLE.

AND I HAD THE GOOD FORTUNE TO PRODUCE A COUPLE OF DOCUMENTARIES OVER THE YEARS.

AND FINDING THE RIGHT TITLE -- AND SOME PEOPLE MIGHT THINK, IT'S EASY.

BUT AS YOU KNOW, IT'S NOT.

AND FINDING THE RIGHT TITLE IS TO IMPORTANT FOR THE QUALITY OF THE FILM.

SO WE TALKED ABOUT THIS BEING TITLED 'GENERATION 9/11.'

WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

WELL, I WISH I COULD TAKE CREDIT FOR THE TITLE, BUT THEY HAD THE TITLE BEFORE I CAME ONBOARD.

INTERESTINGLY, THIS FILM IS A COPRODUCTION BETWEEN PBS, RTS AND CHANNEL 4 IN GREAT BRITAIN.

THEY WENT WITH THE TITLE 'CHILDREN OF 9/11.'

AND I REALLY PREFER -- I PREFER 'GENERATION 9/11.'

THAT'S WHAT WE HAD CALLED IT ALL ALONG BECAUSE OF THE IDEA THAT THIS IS, AS I SAID BEFORE, A GENERATION BORN IN THE WAKE OF THIS ATTACK AND THE WORLD THAT HAS SHAPED THEM IS A WORLD THAT WAS SHAPED BY THE ATTACKS.

AND, SO, I -- IT IS VERY MUCH THE PERSONAL STORY OF THESE SEVEN CONTRIBUTORS, BUT IT IS ALSO A STORY OF THEIR GENERATION AND WHAT THE -- THE REALLY DIFFICULT CHALLENGING ROLE THEY HAVE GROWN UP IN.

SO I HOPE THAT THAT TITLE SIGNALS THIS ISN'T JUST A SAD -- 'CHILDREN OF 9/11' TO ME SAYS GET OUT THE TISSUES.

THIS IS GOING TO BE PAINFUL.

GET READY FOR IT TO BE MOVED.

AND WE DO ALL THAT IN THIS FILM, BUT THIS IS ALSO A LOT MORE.

IT IS A MUCH BIGGER PICTURE THAN JUST SEVEN TRAGEDIES.

AS I WALKED THIS, I'M STRUCK WITH YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR MOM.

ALL OF A SUDDEN YOU REACH OUT AND GIVE HER A HUG.

AND I THINK FOR SO MANY PEOPLE IN ANY CIRCUMSTANCE THAT WOULD BE TOUCHING.

GIVEN YOUR CIRCUMSTANCE, YOUR MOM HERSELF ALMOST DIED IN THE TOWERS BUT FOR CIRCUMSTANCE THAT GOT HER LATE.

SO LET ME COME BACK TO WHAT YOU MENTIONED BEFORE.

YOU TALKED ABOUT THIS.

WE'RE APPROACHING THE 20th ANNIVERSARY.

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE NOTION OF ANNIVERSARIES OF THIS EVENT?

AND HOW WE AS A SOCIETY SHOULD BE RECOGNIZING THIS EVENT, IF AT ALL?

I HAVE HEARD PEOPLE SAY PEOPLE WHO LOST PEOPLE THEY SAY, THIS -- AN ANNIVERSARY EACH YEAR JUST OPENS UP THE WOUNDS FOR US, AND DO WE NEED TO DO THIS?

AND HAVE HEARD OTHER PEOPLE SAY, IT HELPS TO SOMEHOW HELP US IN THE HEALING PROCESS.

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THAT?

YEAH.

I ACTUALLY THINK IT IS A LITTLE BIT OF BOTH, YOU KNOW.

I THINK ON A MORE PERSONAL LEVEL, IT CAN BE A LITTLE OVERWHELMING, ESPECIALLY COME UP TO THE TIME AND ON THE DAY JUST BECAUSE YOU SEE IT ALL OVER SOCIAL MEDIA.

IT IS ALREADY SOMETHING WE DEAL WITH PERSONALLY SOMEWHAT -- NOT NECESSARILY ON A DAY-TO-DAY BASIS, BUT WE'RE KIND OF REMINDING OF IT THROUGHOUT THE YEAR IN SMALL THINGS IN LIFE.

AND ESPECIALLY COME THE ANNIVERSARY IT'S EVERYWHERE.

EVERYONE HAS THEIR NEVER FORGET POSTED ON INSTAGRAM OR FACEBOOK, AND THEN IT'S ON THE NEWS.

IT IS ON THE RADIO.

BUT I THINK THAT'S MORE OF LIKE A PERSONAL THING, BUT NOT NECESSARILY EVERYONE CAN RELATE TO THAT.

I THINK IT COULD ALSO BE REALLY IMPORTANT, ESPECIALLY NOW BEING SOMEONE WHO IS A GENERATION 9/11, FOR US TO REALLY NOT FORGET, NOT ONLY THE LIVES THAT WERE LOST BUT THE EFFECTS THAT EVERYTHING -- LIKE ALL THESE -- YOU KNOW, EVERYTHING.

NOT JUST THE ATTACKS BUT WHAT CAME AFTERWARDS, WHAT CAME BEFORE IT, ALL THE EFFECTS IT'S HAD ON HOW OUR WORLD HAS BEEN SHAPED AND WHAT WE CAN LEARN FROM THESE ACTIONS, FROM WHAT HAPPENED BEFORE, WHAT HAPPENED DURING AND WHAT HAPPENED AFTERWARDS, WHAT WE CAN LEARN FROM THAT AND WHAT WE CAN TAKE FROM IT AND HOW WE CAN, YOU KNOW, MAYBE -- NOT NECESSARILY CHANGE OUR WORLD BUT UNDERSTAND IT BETTER, ESPECIALLY AS SOMEONE WHO IS BECOMING AN ADULT.

IT'S BECOMING MUCH MORE INTERESTING TO SEE, YOU KNOW -- YOU KNOW HOW DO WE GET HERE?

BECAUSE 9/11 HAD SOMETHING THAT HAD HAPPENED TO THE PAST FOR YOU GUYS.

YOU KNOW, YOU SAW WHAT HAPPENED BEFORE, DURING AND AFTERWARDS.

BUT MY GENERATION, ESPECIALLY KIDS WHO ARE MUCH YOUNGER THAN I AM, WE GREW UP WITH TSA.

WE GREW UP WITH THE WAR IN AFGHANISTAN.

WE GREW UP WITH THE WAR ON TERROR.

WE DON'T REALLY KNOW WHAT IT WAS LIKE TO GO THROUGH THESE TIME PERIODS, THIS WHOLE TIME PERIOD.

AND, SO, I THINK NEVER FORGETTING WILL ALLOW US TO BETTER UNDERSTAND THE WORLD THAT WE LIVE IN, BUT ALSO ON THE MORE PERSONAL LEVEL IT WILL BE A LITTLE OVERWHELMING, AND I TEND TO ALMOST DISTANCE MYSELF FROM THE MEDIA ON THAT DAY BECAUSE I KIND OF JUST DON'T WANT TO HAVE TO CONSTANTLY BE REMINDED OF IT THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE DAY.

LIZ, AS YOU WERE PUTTING THIS TOGETHER, DID YOU FIND THAT SENSE AMONG SOME OF THE OTHER YOUNG PEOPLE, THE SENSE OF, YOU KNOW, I HAVE TO LIVE THIS REALLY EVERY DAY OF MY LIFE IN SOME WAY AND I DON'T NECESSARILY WANT TO HAVE A LIGHT SHINING ON ME FOR ANNIVERSARIES OR DOCUMENTARY FILMS?

YEAH.

IT'S SEVERAL -- THERE IS A SECTION OF THE FILM WHERE SEVERAL OF THE CONTRIBUTORS COMMENT ON WHAT IT'S LIKE ON THE DAY, YOU KNOW, GROWING UP EVERY DAY, EVERY YEAR AT SCHOOL WHEN THERE WAS A MOMENT OF SILENCE, THE FEELING OF PEOPLE LOOKING AT YOU, GETTING LOTS OF MESSAGES AND ONE OF THE CONTRIBUTORS SAYS, YOU KNOW, I SORT OF HATE TO SAY IT BUT I WASN'T THINKING ABOUT IT UNTIL YOU FILLED MY INBOX WITH THESE THINGS.

THAT HORRIBLE TENSION BETWEEN A VERY PERSONAL LOSS AND THIS INCREDIBLE -- YOU KNOW, COULDN'T BE MORE PUBLIC TRAGEDY AND HOW YOU CARVE OUT YOUR PERSONAL SPACE IN THAT WAS SOMETHING THAT A LOT OF PEOPLE TALKED ABOUT, AND I THINK NICK MENTIONED IT IS NOT IN THE FILM BUT IN SOME OF THE MANY THINGS HE GAVE, SEEING NASTY JOKES ON IT ON THE DAY OF SOCIAL MEDIA, JOKES, CONSPIRACIES, JUST PEOPLE NOT THINKING ABOUT THE INDIVIDUALS FOR WHOM THIS IS REALLY GOING TO BE A KNIFE.

BECAUSE IT'S PART OF HISTORY.

IT'S PART OF LIFE.

AND HAVING TO WALK THAT LINE BETWEEN PERSONAL AND PUBLIC, IT'S SOMETHING I NEVER REALLY THOUGHT ABOUT IT.

I THINK IN TERMS OF THE DESIRE TO BE IDENTIFIED WITH IT IS AN EVENT TO TELL THE STORY PUBLICALLY.

ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WAS REALLY IMPORTANT ABOUT THIS FILM IS THAT IT'S VERY COLLABORATIVE AND WE CONCEIVED OF IT THAT WAY FROM THE BEGINNING, BUT IT BECAME MUCH MORE SO WITH COVID.

YOU KNOW, WE WERE GOING TO GO AND FILM WITH EVERYBODY WITH THE FILM CREW FOR A FEW WEEKS AND AS TIME WENT BY, IT WAS CLEAR THAT WASN'T GOING TO HAPPEN.

IT WAS, OKAY, GUYS, START RECORDING VIDEO DIARIES.

AND SEND THIS STUFF.

AND ABBIE THE PRODUCER HAD TO NOTHING AND NOTHING EVERYBODY.

THEN WE DID SHOOTS WITH A REMOTE CAMERA THAT THEY HAD TO SET UP ON THEIR OWN.

IT ARRIVED IN BOXES.

AND THAT'S HOW WE GOT TO KNOW EVERYBODY, THROUGH THESE WEIRD, REMOTE CONNECTIONS.

SO BY THE TIME WE ACTUALLY MET AND FILMED IN PERSON, WE HAD BEEN DEALING WITH EACH OTHER FOR A LOT.

AND THEY HAVE DONE A LOT OF WORK FOR THE FILM.

SO I THINK THAT GAVE THEM AN INVESTMENT IN IT, FEELING THEY WERE TELLING THEIR STORY.

HOW ABOUT THAT?

BECAUSE OFTENTIMES, WHAT IT WOULD BE, AS LIZ WOULD SAY, THERE WOULD HAVE BEEN A FILM CREW.

THEY WOULD SIT DOWN AND YOU'D BE IN THE CHAIR AND YOU WOULD TALK ABOUT IT AND THEN YOU MIGHT NOT SEE THEM AGAIN.

THERE MIGHT BE SOME FOLLOW UP QUESTIONS ABOUT THAT.

WHAT ABOUT THAT?

THIS IDEA OF IT BEING SO COLLABORATIVE AND YOU BEING NOT JUST A SUBJECT OF CONVERSATION BUT A PART OF THE PROCESS?

IT WAS HONESTLY VERY EXCITING AND IT MADE THE PROJECT A LOT MORE PERSONAL BECAUSE I FELT LIKE WE COULD KIND OF -- I DIDN'T GET TO KNOW MORE OF THE CONTRIBUTORS AT THE TIME, BUT IT FELT LIKE WE COULD KIND OF GUIDE WHERE THE STORY WAS -- LIKE THE PATH THAT THE STORY WAS GOING TO TAKE.

THERE WERE PLENTY OF TIMES WHERE THEY WERE LIKE, YOU DON'T HAVE TO ANSWER THIS.

AND I WAS LIKE, I DON'T KNOW IF I HAVE AN OPINION FOR YOU GUYS TO -- THEY HAD SO MANY GREAT QUESTIONS, BUT SOMETIMES I'M LIKE, I HAVE TO THINK ON BEHALF OF THIS OR I DON'T REALLY HAVE ANYTHING.

SO IT WAS REALLY NICE TO KIND OF HAVE THIS PERSONAL ASPECT TO EVERYTHING.

IT ALSO WAS REALLY NICE BECAUSE I FELT LIKE ESPECIALLY DURING A TIME WHERE DAYS REALLY BLENDED TOGETHER, WEEKS BECAME MONTHS, MONTHS BECAME ALMOST A WHOLE YEAR, IT REALLY HELPED ME SIT DOWN AND KIND OF ACTUALLY PROCESS WHAT WAS GOING ON IN MY DAY-TO-DAY LIFE BECAUSE AS MUCH AS THIS WAS ABOUT 9/11 AND, LIKE, OUR KIND OF OUR WHOLE EXPERIENCE WITH 9/11, LIKE OUR PERSONAL EXPERIENCES WITH 9/11, IT WAS ALSO IN OUR DAY-TO-DAY LIVES.

AND BREAKING DOWN WHAT WE HAD TO DO REALLY HELPED ME GROUND MYSELF IN MY ACTUAL DAY-TO-DAY LIFE AND NOT ONLY DID IT HELP SO MUCH WITH THE DOCUMENTARY, IT HELPED ME A LOT PERSONALLY.

I FOUND THAT KIND OF THEY ASKED A LOT OF GREAT QUESTIONS.

THERE IS SO MANY TIMES WHERE I HAD A CLIP AND I WAS LIKE, I DIDN'T LIKE THAT.

AND I DID IT AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN AND IT REALLY WAS ALMOST VERY THERAPEUTIC BECAUSE I COULD SIT DOWN AND BE LIKE, WHAT DO I REALLY THINK ABOUT THIS?

WHAT DO I REALLY WANT TO SAY?

BECAUSE YOU CAN ONLY PUT -- IT IS SO EASY TO FEEL SOMETHING BUT IT'S NOT EASY TO PUT IT TO WORDS ALL THE TIME, ESPECIALLY, YOU KNOW, COMING FROM -- JUST BECOMING AN ADULT.

I'M JUST ONLY 19 YEARS OLD, SO I REALLY STRUGGLE WITH PUTTING EVERYTHING INTO WORDS, REALLY, KIND OF DICTATING EXACTLY HOW I FEEL.

SO FREELY SITTING DOWN AND TAKING THE TIME TO THINK ABOUT THESE QUESTIONS, TO THINK ABOUT, YOU KNOW, HOW DID I REALLY FEEL?

HOW DO I FEEL ABOUT EVEN JUST COVID?

HOW DO I FEEL ABOUT BEING AWAY?

I'M SUPER FAR AWAY FROM MY HOMETOWN.

IT REALLY HELPED PUT EVERYTHING IN PERSPECTIVE AND IT ACTUALLY HELPED ME -- LET ME SEE IF I COULD FIND IT.

I PICKED UP JOURNALING BECAUSE OF IT.

YEAH, I DID.

AND I HAVE BEEN DOING IT QUITE A BIT ACTUALLY.

THIS IS MORE SO OF RECENT.

BUT IT REALLY HELPED ME KIND OF NOT ONLY FEEL A LOT MORE CONNECTED TO THE STORY THAT I'M TELLING, BUT IT HELPED ME GUIDE MYSELF THROUGH THE PROCESS OF PROCESSING EVERYTHING.

ONCE AGAIN, WE'RE TALKING ABOUT THE NEW PBS DOCUMENTARY TITLED 'GENERATION 9/11' OR A REMINDER TO CHECK YOUR LISTINGS.

YOU CAN GO TO METROFOCUS.ORG AND WE WILL PROVIDE YOU WITH DATES AND TIMES.

LET ME COME BACK TO SOMETHING NICK JUST MENTIONED, THE THEY ARE PEWTER VALUE OF DOING THIS.

AND I WONDER IF YOU ANTICIPATED THAT AS YOU GOT INTO THE PRODUCTION.

I MEAN, WITH A FILM LIKE THIS, AN IMPORTANT OF THE SELECTION PROCESS WAS MAKING SURE THAT EVERYBODY WHO WE WERE TALKING TO ABOUT TAKING PART UNDERSTOOD THE KIND OF CONVERSATIONS THEY WERE -- WE ASKED TO HAVE WITH US, WITH OUR FAMILY MEMBERS.

YOU KNOW, WE HAD A FEW PEOPLE WHO THOUGHT ABOUT IT AND SAID, ACTUALLY I DON'T WANT TO GO THERE.

I'M NOT READY TO HAVE THESE CONVERSATIONS IN A PUBLIC WAY.

AND THE PEOPLE WHO ARE PART OF THE FILM, MANY OF THEM LIKE NICK HADN'T HAD THOSE CONVERSATIONS.

AND WHAT WAS REALLY INTERESTING TO ME WAS HOW MANY OF THE CONTRIBUTORS -- HOW MANY OF THE MOTHERS SAID, I HAD -- ALMOST VERBATIM, THEY SAID, I ALWAYS SAID YOU COULD COME TO ME AND ASK ME WHATEVER YOU WANT ANY TIME, AND THEY DON'T ASK.

THEY DON'T BRING IT UP.

WE DON'T TALK ABOUT IT.

AND THEN THE KIDS USUALLY SAY, WELL, IT'S AWKWARD.

NEVER FEELS LIKE THE RIGHT TIME, YOU KNOW.

I MEAN, I THINK NICK HAS SAID THIS AS WELL.

AND WHEN DO YOU BRING IT UP.

AND THEY'RE ALSO VERY SENSITIVE TO THE FACT THAT -- TO HOW PAINFUL THIS IS FOR THE MOTHERS.

AND THE FILM MAKES VERY CLEAR HOW FRESH IN THE MEMORIES OF THE MOTHERS THAT DAY STILL IS.

AND I THINK FOR THE KIDS IT IS A -- IT'S A DIFFICULT ASKING THEM TO RE-LIVE THAT.

YOU KNOW, THESE ARE ALL SENSITIVE, YOUNG ADULTS WHO RECOGNIZE THAT THAT'S A BIG ASK, AND THEY WERE WARY OF DOING THAT.

SO I THINK THE FILM PROVIDED THEM A WAY OF SAYING, ALL RIGHT, WE'RE DOING THIS TOGETHER.

WE'RE GOING TO GO THERE.

AND I THINK AFTER WORDS OPENED UP CONVERSATIONS FOR THEM.

AND DOCUMENTARIES ARE ALWAYS A BIT LIKE THERAPY.

YOU SIT THERE AND CAN ASK A DEEP PROBING QUESTION, AND YOU LISTEN REALLY HARD AND YOU ASK PEOPLE TO GO PLACES YOU HAVEN'T BEFORE.

AND IF YOU DO IT WELL, THOSE PEOPLE FIND IT SATISFYING.

NOT ALWAYS, BUT, YOU KNOW.

I CAN ASK YOU ABOUT THE STYLE OF THIS DOCUMENTARY BECAUSE THERE ARE DIFFERENT ONES, DIFFERENT WAYS TO TELL THESE STORIES.

EACH CAN BE COMPELLING IN THEIR OWN RIGHT.

THIS IS NOT ONE WHERE YOU HAVE A NARRATOR.

NO.

TAKING YOU THROUGH AND INTERSPERSING CONVERSATIONS WITH PEOPLE LIKE NICK AND THE OTHER FOLKS INVOLVED AND SOME WEAVING IN SOME VIDEO OF THE DAY.

CHOSE NOT TO DO IT THAT WAY.

AND EXPLAIN -- EXPLAIN HOW YOU CHOSE TO DO IT AND WHY.

SO MY FILMS IN GENERAL NEVER HAVE -- ALMOST NEVER HAVE NARRATORS.

I ALWAYS -- I KIND OF WAS TRAINED IN THAT SCHOOL OF WHO IS THAT VOICE, YOU KNOW, THE VOICE OF GOD COMING IN AND TELLING YOU WHAT TO THINK.

I WANT THE CONTRIBUTORS TO TELL THEIR OWN STORIES.

IT'S ABOUT GETTING TO KNOW THE INDIVIDUALS IN THE FILM AND LETTING THEM TELL THEIR OWN STORIES AND THE VIEWERS CAN DECIDE WHAT THEY THINK OF EACH ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE WITHOUT BEING TOLD WHAT TO THINK.

THERE IS NO PRIVILEGED VOICE.

WE HEAR THEIR STORIES.

AND MY JOB AS A FILM MAKER IS TO PRESENT THOSE AS FAIRLY AND STAY AS TRUE AS TO WHAT THE CHARACTERS ARE SAYING AS I CAN.

AND, YOU KNOW, WITH THIS ONE, THE MANTRA WAS WE WANT TO SEE THE WORLD THROUGH THEIR EYES.

NOW, OBVIOUSLY, FOR THE FIRST KIND OF HALF HOUR OF THE FILM -- IT IS A TWO-HOUR FILM.

IT HAS A LOT OF PEOPLE IN IT.

I WILL TELL YOU IT DOESN'T FEEL LONG.

I SAY THAT AS A COMPLIMENT TO YOU.

YOU KNOW, YOU'RE TAKING US ON A JOURNEY.

IT DOES NOT FEEL LONG.

WELL, THAT'S GREAT TO HEAR.

SO THE BACK STORY IS VERY MUCH LED BY THE MOTHERS AND THE PARENTS IN SOME CASES.

AND -- AND THE KIDS ARE SORT OF LISTENING AND GIVING YOU LITTLE GLIMPSES TO THEIR EXPERIENCES.

BUT FOR THE REST OF IT THE MANTRA IS THROUGH THEIR EYES.

IT IS THROUGH THEIR EXPERIENCES.

WE STARTED THIS FILM.

WE THOUGHT OF ALL THE THINGS WE WERE IMPORTANT THAT HAPPENED.

I E-MAILED EVERYONE AND SAID TELL ME YOUR MEMORY OF THIS LIST OF 25 EVENTS.

GOT NOTHING BACK FROM MOST OF THEM.

AND THEN I WAS LIKE, ALL RIGHT, GIVE ME YOUR TIME LINES.

WHAT DO YOU REMEMBER?

I THINK NICK WAS ONE OF THE ONES THAT GOT BACK TO ME.

I GOT TWO INTERVIEWS WITH EVERYONE.

ONE WE CALLED A TIME LINE INTERVIEW, WHICH WAS JUST SORT OF TELL ME YOUR FIRST MEMORY AND TAKE ME THROUGH IN ELECTIONS.

WHAT DO YOU REMEMBER?

YOU SEE IN THE FILM, THERE IS THESE SORT OF HEADLINE MOMENTS.

AND WE USE THE ONES THAT PEOPLE HAD SOMETHING TO SAY ABOUT AND A LOT OF THEM NEVER WENT ANYWHERE BECAUSE THEY JUST DIDN'T HAVE ANY INTERESTING MEMORIES OR ANY MEMORIES, YOU KNOW, THEY HAD NOWHERE TO GO WITH THEM.

SO THAT THE EVENTS WE FOCUSSED ON ARE THE EVENTS THAT THE CONTRIBUTORS FELT WERE SIGNIFICANT AND HAD SOMETHING TO SAY ABOUT.

AND THEN THE OTHER INTERVIEW WAS THE SERIOUS, MORE EMOTIONAL INTERVIEW WHICH WAS MORE THERAPEUTIC.

AND THE REST OF THE FILMING WAS LED BY THEIR LIVES.

WE HAD LONG TALKS ABOUT WHAT ARE YOU DOING?

WHAT SHOULD WE SHOW TO REPRESENT WHERE YOU'RE AT NOW AND WHO YOU ARE.

AND WE COULD TALK ABOUT THIS A LITTLE BIT.

IN TERMS OF HOW 9/11 HAS IN SOME WAYS SHAPED THE CONTOURS OF YOUR LIFE, CLEARLY YOU WERE NOT ALIVE ON THAT DAY, BUT ALSO CLEARLY YOU HAVE BEEN MORE DRAMATICALLY PERSONALLY IMPACTED THAN THE VAST MAJORITY OF THE PEOPLE IN THE WORLD, OBVIOUSLY.

AS YOU BECOME A TALENTED COLLEGE STUDENT NOW, DO YOU FIND THAT IN SOME WAYS IT HAD SHAPED YOUR VIEW OF THE WORLD, WHAT HAPPENED ON THAT DAY?

I DON'T THINK IT'S DIRECTLY REALLY AFFECTED MY VIEW ON THE WORLD, PER SE.

I DON'T EVER THINK BACK TO LIKE -- I DON'T THINK OF SOMETHING LIKE, OH, WAIT, 9/11 INFLUENCED THAT.

BUT I THINK IT'S INDIRECTLY INFLUENCED MY VIEW OF THE WORLD MORE SO WHAT MY MOTHER HAS TAUGHT ME THROUGH MY LIFE.

YOU KNOW, A LOT OF WHAT SHE HAS GONE THROUGH IN HER LIFE, ALL OF HER LIFE EXPERIENCES HAVE REALLY INFLUENCED WHAT SHE HAS TAUGHT ME TO BE, LIKE THE TYPE OF PERSON TO BE IS THE TYPE OF HUMAN BEING THAT YOU WANT TO BE, THE VERY EMPATHETIC SIDE THAT SHE ALWAYS TRIED TO RELAY.

AND MANY OF THE LESSONS SHE'S TAUGHT ON JUST THE VERY SIMPLE LEVEL.

SO I THINK IN THAT WAY, IN THE WAY MY MOTHER HAS TAUGHT ME, 9/11 HAS, I THINK, MAYBE NOT NECESSARILY SIGNIFICANTLY IMPACTED HOW I VIEW THE WORLD, BUT I DEFINITELY THINK IT HAS QUITE A DECENTLY LARGE INFLUENCE ON I GUESS HOW I WOULD GO THROUGH MY DAY-TO-DAY LIFE OR HOW I WOULD BE TO OTHER PEOPLE BECAUSE I GUESS I CAN'T EVEN THINK OF ANYTHING IN PARTICULAR.

I MIGHT BE STRAIGHTFORWARD, BUT I'M SURE IF I ASK MY MOTHER, OH, YEAH, I KIND OF TOOK THIS AWAY, AND I WANTED YOU TO HAVE WHAT I HAD TAKEN AWAY FROM THESE EVENTS.

SO, AGAIN, I PROBABLY LESS DIRECTLY BUT WAY MORE INDIRECT THAN ANYTHING.

LET ME ASK YOU A LAST QUESTION IF I CAN.

WE COULD TALK FOR HOURS ABOUT THIS.

IT'S FASCINATING.

BUT LAST QUESTION, GOT ABOUT TWO MINUTES HERE FOR YOU.

YOU MENTION IN THE BEGINNING THE NOTION OF DOCUMENTARIES TAKE YOU ON A JOURNEY.

IT TOOK NICK AND THE PARTICIPANTS ON THEIR JOURNEY.

LET ME ASK YOU ABOUT YOUR JOURNEY.

AND I ASK FILM MAKERS ABOUT THIS OFTENTIMES.

WHAT DID YOU LEARN THAT YOU HAD NOT ANTICIPATED, PERHAPS, AS YOU SHEPHERDED THIS JOURNEY FOR THIS DOCUMENTARY?

IS THAT QUESTION FOR ME?

YES, PLEASE.

I THINK I LEARNED A LOT ABOUT THIS GENERATION.

I THINK THAT'S THE -- I MEAN, I'VE DONE A FIRST RESPONDERS 9/1 9/11 DOCUMENTARY.

I WAS PREPARED FOR THE PAIN AND THE GRIEF.

BUT I THINK AS AN AMERICAN LIVING ABROAD, TO HEAR THESE SEVEN YOUNG PEOPLE DESCRIBE THE WORLD THEY HAVE GROWN UP IN AND ALL OF THEM, THEIR BIGGEST CONCERN IS POLARIZATION AND HOHOW DIVIDED THE COUNTRY IS.

SEVERAL OF THEM SAY, EVERYONE SAYS AFTER 9/11 THE COUNTRY WAS REALLY UNITED AND THERE IS THIS WONDERFUL SENSE OF EVERYONE SUPPORTING EACH OTHER, AND THERE IS NOTHING LIKE THAT NOW.

AND THE CONTRIBUTORS HAVE VERY DIFFERENT POLITICAL VIEWS.

THEY'RE FROM ALL OVER THE COUNTRY.

YOU KNOW, THEY ARE VASTLY DIFFERENT FROM EACH OTHER, BUT THEY ALL SHARE THIS SENSE OF WE'VE GOT TO START COMING TOGETHER.

AND YOU LOOK AT WHAT THEY HAVE LIVED THROUGH AND THE HOSTILITY AND THE MISUNDERSTANDING, AND I WISH -- YOU KIND OF WANT TO BRING THEM ALTOGETHER IN A ROOM.

AND LOTS OF YOUNG PEOPLE IN A ROOM TO SEE WHAT THEY HAVE IN COMMON.

THAT SOUNDS CHEESY, BUT THE DIVIDE WAS SO STARK.

AND, YET, THESE SEVEN PEOPLE ARE ALL VERY CAPABLE OF SEEING HOW THEY COME OUT OF THAT AND PUTTING A POSITIVE SPIN ON IT, WHICH IS REFRESHING.

AS I SAIDS IN THE BEGINNING, IT IS A MARVELOUS FILM.

IT IS COMPELLING.

LIZ, YOUR WORK WAS, ONCE AGAIN, AS ALWAYS, EXCEPTIONAL.

AND, NICK, IT WAS NICE TO MEET YOU HERE.

I KNOW YOU WILL BE VERY SUCCESSFUL.

THANK YOU SO MUCH, BOTH OF YOU.

AND YOU ALL BE WELCOME.

THANK YOU.

TAKE CARE.

> 'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY -- SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III.

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