9/11 has always been one of the most difficult subjects for news organizations to cover with integrity. The majority of media has forced the debate into two black and white extremes: either Osama bin Laden did it and the government is blameless or "the government did it" and Osama bin Laden had nothing to do with it. And, naturally, the people that hold the latter view are crazy nut jobs.
However, taboo or not, we believe journalists have a duty to report all sides of the story.
We also believe that the 'truth' of 9/11 does not fall into one of these caricatured black and white extremes, and it's time for the world to get a grown-up telling of this story.
It's true that there is plenty of false information that has been promoted both by 'official' sources as well as from the critics of the official story. But the fact that false information has been promoted by people within the 9/11 truth movement (for reasons both accidental and malicious) should not dissuade journalists from seeking the truth in between these polar extremes in perspective.
A journalist's job is to sift out the valid claims from the misinformation, no matter their source, and construct a narrative about 9/11 that includes all the relevant facts and perspectives.
With that in mind, Films For Action has worked to compile a list of the best documentaries that feature critical perspectives on 9/11, while weeding out films that contain misinformation, or simply aren't that great for other reasons.
10. 9/11: Press For Truth (2006)
The best introduction to the movement, following the 9/11 familes' search for truth, and their fight to get an investigation into 9/11, which they ultimately found unsatisfactory. It is the most conservative 9/11 film, and it is has also been the most ignored by the mainstream media. After watching it, you'll see why. This film alone, dispelling every crackpot insult you've ever heard lobbed at the movement, puts those comments to shame.
9. 911 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions (2004)
Best summary of the official report. In a presentation by Professor David Ray Griffin, he asks "What's wrong with the official report?" This presentation builds on the evidence presented in 9/11: Press for Truth and goes on to detail even more disturbing contradictions and false-hoods.
8. The Power of Nightmares (2004)
Best historical context (ideological). The Power of Nightmares is a BBC documentary 3-part film series. From Wikipedia: "The films compare the rise of the Neo-Conservative movement in the United States and the radical Islamist movement, making comparisons on their origins and claiming similarities between the two. More controversially, it argues that the threat of radical Islamism as a massive, sinister organised force of destruction, specifically in the form of al-Qaeda, is a myth perpetrated by politicians in many countries—and particularly American Neo-Conservatives—in an attempt to unite and inspire their people following the failure of earlier, more utopian ideologies."
7. The Elephant in the Room (2007)
Best international perspective. The Elephant in the Room is a documentary following British filmmaker Dean Puckett through his journey into the 9/11 Truth Movement. The filmmakers travel from middle England, across Europe and to New York for the six year anniversary of the attacks, where the film takes one final twist as we are introduced to the 9/11 first responders who are suffering from various grave health difficulties due to the toxic dust that they breathed in trying to help their country during the weeks after this tragic event. Told with a personal hands on approach that avoids advancing any one position, the film asks the question: are these crazy conspiracy theorists? Or is 9/11 Truth a credible political movement?
6. What I've Learned About U.S. Foreign Policy (2000)
The best film not about 9/11 that allows the viewer to psychologically prepare oneself to consider the possibility that individuals within government could be capable of seeing the death of thousands of Americans as tragic but necessary "collateral damage" for a "greater good."
This is a powerful 10-part compilation that (in important ways) pulls aside the veil of Official myths and Lies about "freedom", "democracy", Human Rights, etc., being the basis of U.S. foreign policy.
Frank Dorrel, who produced the film says, "I've put together this 2-hour video called ‘What I’ve Learned About U.S. Foreign Policy’. The basic message being that the CIA, the military-industrial-complex, the Pentagon, the multinational corporations, the media and the government of the United States are responsible for the deaths of millions of people in the third world, not to mention the poverty and oppression of millions more. We support, arm, and train dictators and militaries that do these evil actions to their own people. All of this is to ensure that we control the natural resources of these countries and their market place, use the people for cheap labor and keep the business of war (which is our biggest business) ongoing.
The CIA has also done business with international drug dealers, allowing heroin and cocaine to enter the U.S., using the enormous profits to fund more covert operations. Since WWII the US has bombed Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Guatemala, El Salvador, Panama, Iraq, Somalia, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, and now currently Iraq, once again killing millions of innocent people.
We have been taught all our lives that the US fights for freedom and democracy, that we are the good guys. And since so many people in America are doing well, do have freedom, opportunity and wealth, or are just trying to get by, there is very little motivation to look into the things being said on this tape. I believe that Americans are living in a state of mass denial, kind of a mass hypnosis. It is the BIG LIE! [...] The people who are attempting to get this message out are labeled as crackpots, radicals, subversives, or worse, and are not given the opportunity to be heard in the mainstream media. [...]The first step is to understand that this is really happening."
5. 9/11: Explosive Evidence -- Experts Speak Out (2011)
Best scientific presentation of the physical evidence surrounding the collapse of the 3 World Trade Center buildings. Join 23-year architect Richard Gage, AIA, in this feature length documentary with cutting-edge 9/11 evidence from more than 50 top experts in their fields -- high-rise architects, structural engineers, physicists, chemical engineers, firefighters, metallurgists, explosives experts, controlled demolition technicians, and more. Each is highly qualified in his/her respective fields. Several have Ph.D's -- including National Medal of Science awardee Lynn Margulis. She, along with the other experts, exposes the fraud of NIST and discusses how the scientific method should have been applied and acknowledges the "overwhelming" evidence of high temperature incendiaries in all dust samples of the WTC.
9/11 family members and psychologists round out the professional showing and tie it all together in this milestone production. Visit http://www.ae911truth.org/ for further details.
4. Everybody's Gotta Learn Sometime (2006)
The best summary of U.S. prior knowledge. The narrator presents information in a plain and straightforward tone, with little music distraction or interruption, which is refreshing for focusing solely on the content.
Many skeptics of the 9/11 Justice Movement will be surprised to discover how many government whistleblowers have spoken out, challenging the official account and seeking a re-opening of the investigation into 9/11. These whistelblowers include Robert Wright, Sibel Edmonds, Coleen Rowley and U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Shaffer. Considering that these revelations are coming from government whistleblowers and officials, it is striking to realize that this is indeed, credible, explosive news that you would expect the mainstream media to cover extensively, and yet it does not. The silence on these news worthy developments is in fact deafening.
3. Oil, Smoke & Mirrors (2007)
Best big picture perspective and motivation. This film presents credible experts who discuss probable motives behind 9/11 and the larger "war on terror." The film places 9/11 in the larger context of a global fight for the last remaining reserves of oil. It recounts examples of our own government's history with false-flag covert operations, as well as historical background on the U.S. government's long-term ambitions to remain the worlds number 1 superpower, heading into an era of energy scarcity and resource wars.
2. The New American Century (2009)
Best historical context (geo-political). While The Power of Nightmares provides an ideological context to understand 9/11, The New American Century provides a geo-politcal context, exploring the history of past U.S. wars, how they were started, and the overarching strategy and policy the U.S. has employed to maintain and strengthen it's global military dominance.
Great attention is given to a document entitled "Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategies, Forces, and Resources For a New Century," published in September 2000 by a neo-conservative think tank by the name of Project for a New American Century, or PNAC. Notable members include Richard Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Donald Rumsfeld, John Ellis "Jeb" Bush, and Richard Armitage. The document appears to have provided the blueprint for U.S. foreign and domestic policy following the 9/11 attacks. The main goal being a massive increase in military spending and influence around the world. But, the authors concede, "the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event––like a new Pearl Harbor" (51). Many see 9/11 as the catalyzing event that provided the Bush administration the opportunity to advance their agenda (which included plans for invading Iraq and Afghanistan pre 9/11).
1. Fabled Enemies (2008)
Best overall. While not without its limitations, this stands out as the definitive film examining 9/11. Instead of the focus being on physical anomalies surrounding the attacks, which have been examined extensively in other films, it focuses on evidence of an international intelligence network that provided the aid necessary for the 9/11 plot to succeed. The film meticulously documents how the hijackers were protected every step of the way by higher-ups, including testimony by U.S. government officials who have publicly spoke out on the issue.The majority of evidence is sourced from mainstream news outlets, including ABC, Newsweek, the New York Times, and FOX News.
The film does an excellent job of conveying the nuance and complexity of the 9/11 attacks, avoiding black and white statements such as "9/11 was an inside job," to paint a much more nuanced picture. From the evidence featured in this film, it appears that individuals or agencies representing Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, the United States, and Israel all played a role, either directly or indirectly to some degree.
Other films we haven't fully reviewed yet but are worth a look:
Dedicated News and Updates: 911Truth.org -- 911truthnews.com -- 911Blogger.com
Geopolitical Perspective: GlobalResearch.ca
Government Officials Critical of 9/11: PatriotsQuestion911.com
Connect the Dots: OilEmpire.us
Understanding and Analysis: 911Review.com
Research and Perspective: 911Research.wtc7.net
Summaries & Mainstream Sourced Evidence: WantToKnow.info
Top 5 Hoax-Promoting Videos to Avoid (films containing misinformation): In Plane Site, Loose Change (Editions 1, 2) 9/11 Eyewitness, PentaCon, Missing Links
The 9/11 Commision Report