The “Six Feet Under” season finale airs next Sunday. Its timeslot this week is occupied by “In Memoriam: New York City,” which looks to be a don’t-miss look at the Twin Towers tragedy.
9 p.m. Sunday HBO.
TV Guide says:
Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani and members of his staff share their memories of the attacks on the World Trade Center in this sobering documentary. “Sept. 11 was supposed to be a quiet day for me,” says Giuliani at the beginning of the film, but as everyone knows, it was the most trying one of his career. Giuliani, Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, Fire Commissioner Thomas Von Essen and others recall where they were when they first heard of the tragedy, what they were thinking as they sped to downtown Manhattan and what they saw at the scene. Their comments are accompanied by still photos and harrowing video footage, as well as a haunting score by the New York Philharmonic.
There is a sentimentality at work as the piece progresses, a kind of canned, if welcome and truthful, assurance that our grief will make us stronger. Not only does the docu depict eulogies, but it is intended to be one as well. It's a reflection, not an examination, on the events of that day, and while it isn't enlightening, it is certainly tear-jerking.
The Hollywood Reporter says:
Here's something that isn't terribly politically correct for a TV critic to admit: I cried at the end of "In Memoriam: New York City, 9/11/01." And I defy anyone to watch it without having a similarly strong visceral reaction, even some 8 1/2 months after having witnessed the unfathomable as it was in progress. It's sobering just how difficult it is to take in this hourlong recounting of the day that will live in infamy (2001 edition). It's stark, it's raw, it's mostly unfiltered, it's shocking -- and it's still immeasurably horrifying to behold.
The Los Angeles Times says:
HBO will recognize Memorial Day on Sunday with a remarkable film about New York that embraces the entire nation. If ever one documentary earned space in a time capsule to capture an agonizing moment in U.S. life, this defining work is it.
Entertainment Weekly says:
It's the amateur footage that's by far the most affecting, because it offers a peek into specific, individual lives. We get a shot of the burning towers through an apartment window as we hear a woman leave a frightened message for her parents telling them she's safe. We hear casual, profane conversation in the background of a Brooklyn streetcorner. We watch a body falling and hear someone yell at the cameraman: ''Don't take pictures of that, what's the matter with you?'' (And, still, HBO chose to include it, and, still, we watch).