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Everything in the “National 9/11 Museum” is a pretext for commemoration. What sort of history is being transmitted?

New York City, May 2011. Reconstruction on the site of the World Trade Center is moving rapidly ahead. Amidst the constant noise of the cranes and earthmovers, thousands of tourists mingle daily with the workers, photographing every plaque and every improvised street-corner memorial. Street vendors hail passers-by, self-appointed guides, paid in tips, recount the attack, capturing the tourists’ attention with self-assembled photo albums.

Ground Zero, New York, is being turned into a place where the events of September 11 are endlessly replayed, or rather re-lived. As if it were not just a question of remembering the final moments of all those who died there, but the necessary reaffirmation of a narrative that explains how America came to see itself as the innocent and courageous victim of a crime.

But what do we learn from reliving the disaster in situ, and repeating the story again and again – whether on a sidewalk or inside a museum? Is this “memory obsession” the best way to draw lessons from history?

Film Credits

Directors: Marie-Pierre Jaury, Grégoire Bénabent

Producers: Luc Martin-Gousset

Photography: Philippe Radoux, Christian Huguenot

Editing: Emmanuel Cabanes

Sound: Nicolas Mazet

Music: Les Frères Sonor, « Revelation » ( G. Maurel / D.Soisson)

Production Company: Point du Jour


Orginal Title: Memoryland

UK Classification: None

Subtitles: Yes

Voiceover: No



Length: 52 min

Colour: Yes

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Memoryland Screening:

  • Wed30May

    at Roxy Bar and Screen

    30 May 2012 7:30 pm

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