Spike Lee remembers 9/11 at the Toronto International Film Festival: “The world has changed since then”

Spike Lee remembers 9/11 at the Toronto International Film Festival: "The world has changed since then"


The history of humanity is full of events that forever changed society and its perception of reality itself. One of the most shocking events, in part because of its unexpectedness and how current it still feels for many, is 9/11, the attack in which the famous World Trade Center in New York was demolished. 22 years after the tragic and complicated event, Spike Lee took advantage of a moment in Toronto International Film Festival to talk about the topic and how it altered the course of many lives.

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Spike Lee He was born and raised in Atlanta, but when he became serious about studying film, he decided to do so at one of the best universities in the country located in New York. This decision not only led the creator to find his own path and style, it also showed him the unique life that can be led in this city and which served as inspiration for many of his works; And being a New York director is not a title that anyone earns just by living there. She she she’s gotta have it- 93% presented it in the industry in the best way, as it became a commercial success and generated a great impact among the circle of African-American artists.

It is said that this film even popularized the neighborhood where it was filmed, as it presented the protagonists in a more realistic way and totally removed from the clichés that were promoted in other spaces; in addition to serving as an inspiration for many other directors who eventually found their place in the industry. Do the right – Spike Lee remembers 9/11 at the Toronto International Film Festival: "The world has changed since then"92% and Malcolm X – Spike Lee remembers 9/11 at the Toronto International Film Festival: "The world has changed since then"91% only came to reaffirm his status as a filmmaker inside and outside of New York.

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Official poster for The KKKlansman (Source: IMDb)
Official poster for The KKKlansman (Source: IMDb)

9/11 also changed the film industry

When 9/11 occurred, it not only became the great national tragedy, it also violated the inhabitants of New York who until then did not consider themselves potential victims of something like that. Directors who grew up or worked in the city quickly rallied to help raise funds for the victims, and later also to restore faith in the city as a center for the arts and the film industry. Despite everything that happened later on a political, social and military level, the wound of this attack was so deep that many still cannot overcome it.

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Lee is one of the artists who is most interested in the topic, and was finally able to address it in 2021 with the documentary NYC Epicenters 9/11→2021½ where through 4 episodes he talks about different events that changed the United States, from this attack to the COVID pandemic. In this edition of Toronto International Film Festival, Spike Lee He received the Ebert Award for his career as a director and took advantage of a space in the session Visionaries to present the first episode of this documentary and tell how he lived that day:

The world has changed since that day. You’ll see some difficult things (in the documentary). But as a filmmaker, I’ve never been one to hide shit. They are not computer simulated things. This is real, what happened to, in my opinion, don’t get mad, the greatest city in the world.

Lee recalled that he was in Los Angeles to talk about a possible project when he heard about the bombing and was desperate to return to New York with his family. Of course, there was no way to fly because everything was paralyzed and there was very clear fear at that moment, but in the end he got unexpected help:

The Pullman porters gave me a litter. And you can’t go from Los Angeles to New York, you have to go through Chicago. They had called ahead so I could have a place to sleep. I returned to New York that Friday.

Spike Lee he still wants to explore the topic, but for now the documentary is proof of his dedication to this part of history that forever changed the city and the sense of security of an entire country.

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