© 2006 by C. E. Murphy. All Rights Reserved.
2006 TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL
THREE DAYS IN SEPTEMBER
   While there are several films included at the 2006 Tribeca Film
Festival that deal with the events and aftermath of September 11, 2001,
this film is not one of them. Instead,
THREE DAYS IN SEPTEMBER
focuses on another tragedy that occurred in the month in 2004: the
takeover of a school in Beslan, Russia by armed Chechen rebels.
The tense standoff lasted three days during which more than 1,000
individuals, children and adults, were held in increasingly inhuman
conditions while the terrorists demanded the end to the war in their
homeland.

   Directed by veteran CBS news journalist Joe Halderman,
THREE
DAYS IN SEPTEMBER
(which first aired on Showtime in May 2006)
documents the sad and painful tale of a small town shattered by
a senseless act. The producers were able to secure interviews with
several people who were held hostage, including the school's assistant
principal Elena Kosomova. The film also includes harrowing eyewitness
accounts from mothers and fathers who were celebrating the milestone
of a child's first day in school.

   One of the most chilling aspect of the film is a videotape of the
hostages that was found by teenagers in the rubble of the school.
Apparently, the terrorist decided to document their atrocities and may
have used the camera to record the dead body of its owner.
THREE
DAYS IN SEPTEMBER
, which is narrated by Julia Roberts, also
contains interviews with Russian commandos (in disguise) who
participated in the siege and the battle to liberate the school.

           This is a sobering and moving documentary -- one that
demonstrates that the long arm of terrorism reaches across the
globe.


                   Rating:                B+