EXCLUSIVE: The Day The World Changed, an eight-episode documentary series tracking the design, curation, and construction of the massive National 9/11 Memorial & Museum, is in the works from filmmakers Steven Rosenbaum (7 Days in September) and Pamela Yoder (Witness 9/11), and MagnifyMedia. The series, executive produced by Michael Cascio (Inside 9/11), Karol Martesko-Fenster (Hell and Back Again) and Joe Cantwell (Ride The Divide), is slated for completion and release on the 20th anniversary of 9/11 – 2021. You can watch a preview clip below the story.
“The Rosenbaum/Yoder project has rare and revealing new footage that brings a new perspective to 9/11,” said Cascio, the executive producer who created National Geographic’s miniseries Inside 9/11. “The behind-the-scenes issues that come to light are even more relevant twenty years after the attack.”
Cascio, Martesko-Fenster and Cantwell executive produce. Yoder and Rosenbaum produce and Rosembaum also directs.
The series has exclusive access to Rosenbaum/Yoder’s unseen 670 hours of footage shot over the course of 7 years with the team that built the museum. The debates, disagreements, and conflicts within the museum team in many ways reflect the country’s deeply conflicted feelings about 9/11, and the nation’s now longest wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Middle East. “When the terrorists hit two towers, their plan was to strike at the heart of America,” said Rosenbaum. “Now, as we look back on the past 20 years, we see an unrelenting attack on the idea of America and the freedoms and rights that we hold most dear.”
“The museum was originally planned to ask questions,” says museum Creative Director Michael Shulan. “But today it is a museum with far more periods than question marks at the end of sentences. I didn’t join the team to close off conversations.”
The series begins on the morning of 9/11 and will explore the historic Camera Planet Archive – including more than 500 hours of never before seen material from the day. “We collected and archived this material, knowing that our children’s children would one day ask, ‘what happened’ and we wanted them to be able to see for themselves,” said archive curator Yoder. “The footage is now safely stored at the Museum, but only a small portion of it is available to the public.”
The filmmakers have partnered with CBS News to provide both historical archives and interviews with key CBS journalists.
“From the moment George Bush unleashed ’Shock And Awe” in Baghdad, we’ve seen a changed America,” said Yoder and Rosenbaum. “The Patriot Act, the dramatic increase in our military budget and our increased use of unmanned drones to bomb terrorists and accidental civilian casualties overseas has unleashed terror targeted on our shores. As American’s feel unsafe and targeted, minority communities, immigrants, and Muslims all find themselves diminished members of the American dream.”
To look at the current state of America, The Day The World Changed will feature a number of young, engaged, questioning explorers to ask hard questions, according to the filmmakers. Among them, Arjun Singh Sethi a community activist, civil rights lawyer, writer, and Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center, and Baratunde Thurston, an American writer, comedian, and political commentator.
“This is a project that should be of interest to all Americans, and anyone around the world who’s interested in the future of democratic ideals. 9/11 is the first page of a new chapter in American history, and it’s one that many have tried to put in the rearview mirror. But looking at what’s happening today, it’s clear that the impact of 9/11 hasn’t been fully considered or questioned – as its impact continues to tear at our social fabric. This series is critically important, and I’m proud to be part of the team,” said Martesko-Fenster.