Documentary

Directed, Produced, and Edited by Hank Jacobs

Stories are everywhere. Narratives flow perpetually inside and out of one another all around us.

Sometimes we point a camera towards one of them. 

DAY - 9.11.01
17:44
Hank Jacobs

DAY - 9.11.01

On September 11, 2001, I was living in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn. I had a voice over job in midtown that morning, and I woke up just before the first plane hit. I got a call from my good friend Jeffrey Velazquez, who worked down by the World Trade Center. He could see the first building burning from his place in Brooklyn. He asked me if I knew what was happening, and then mentioned that he was “going down into the depths of hell,” meaning the hot summer subway. Turned out, he was right. So I threw on some clothes, poured a cup of black coffee, and headed out a block away to where I could see the towers behind the Williamsburg bridge. The second plane hit while I was walking to the corner. There were people gathered, and they started screaming. Someone mentioned terrorism. Still not sure about my job for that day, I decided it was best to put on my battle clothes and head into town. So I put on my boots and camo, grabbed my little Canon DV camera, and started walking in to get as close as I could to the story. The first tower fell when I was on the bridge, the second while I was climbing up to the roof of my compatriot Lyle Derek’s building on the lower east side. Lyle and I decided to start walking around and interviewing people as they came up from the Boschian hellscape that was downtown that day. The woman who tells her story at the end, we found in a restaurant supply store in the Bowery. All I kept thinking as I walked around was: why would anyone want to hurt these people? Artists and immigrants, worker bees, fools and drunkards, desperate professionals, but mostly good people. That is a discussion for another time, I suppose.