Turning Point: 9/11 And the War on Terror Review – Riveting, Vital, Illuminating

Turning Point: 9/11 And the War on Terror, a Netflix original docuseries, presents an in-depth examination of the events leading up to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and follows the U.S. response, and retaliation and beyond.

The series opens with the haunting images of September 11, 2001, in New York City. We are introduced to survivors from the higher floors, who through fate, destiny, kismet, happenstance, or God, escaped and lived to tell their harrowing tales.

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For those who were in New York City, lived or worked in the financial district, where the Twin Towers once stood as more than monuments, the day began as this beautiful, early autumn day: Azure blue, cloudless, skies, perfect temperatures, a day when contemplating taking a mental health day and escaping the race seemed logical.

At 8:46am, history was changed when a 747 slammed into the North Tower. The images were shocking, brilliant orange flames, billowing black smoke. The enormity of what the world was witnessing was yet to be realized when no more than twenty minutes later, a second 747 drove into the South Tower.

Turning Point: 9/11 and The War on Terror provides a timeline of the days, times, season and events of September 11, 2001 and the following months, and even years that took the United States from that day of attack to currently and examines the climate of terrorism, the ideologies of the Taliban and other fringe non-state actors which believe based on misconceptions, predominately, over religion that this is a divine calling, one that cannot be ignored without personal consequence.

Each episode unpacks elements of September 11 and the following days before the launch of retaliation. We hear from then White House officials on the exactness of messaging to the president, who had been sitting with a group of elementary school students, the follow up which grounded all planes, until only two remained in the skies which is followed by first person survivors from the Pentagon bombing.

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Additionally, the series unpacks the long and drawn-out battle over Afghanistan, which began with the invasion by Russia and lasted ten years without a victory. The series explains the U.S. involvement in the Afghan-Russian war and the deterioration of Afghanistan, from what once was a vibrant democratic culture where women were permitted education and considered viable members of society and able to hold positions of authority to the emergence of the Taliban and with it the escalating assaults on women, disfiguring acid attacks, men approaching females on the street and beating them over a misconception of religion.

The series features a wide range of interviewees including officials from multiple U.S. presidential administrations, former CIA members, and U.S. military veterans as well as Afghanistan National Army soldiers, Taliban commanders, members of the Afghan government, Afghan warlords, and Afghan civilians – many who had never spoken on camera before. It also spotlights the voices of survivors of the attacks themselves.

Turning Point: 9/11 and the War on Terror answers the questions: Who attacked the U.S. and why? What breakdowns in intelligence allowed it to happen? How did decisions at the highest levels of three administrations in the war on terror bring us to this moment?

Revealing, with riveting first person accounts, Turning Point: 9/11 And the War on Terror, is a vital and illuminating chronicle and begins screening on Netflix September 1, 2021. See it.

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Quote from Brian Knappenberger (Director & Executive Producer):

"On the first anniversary of 9/11 I was in Afghanistan filming one of my first films. When I arrived in Kabul, the Taliban had been driven out and the mood was optimistic. Twenty years after 9/11, the world is witnessing the shocking images of people clinging to the bottom of airplanes in a desperate attempt to leave the country. After the longest war in American history - with trillions of dollars spent, thousands of American lives lost, many more permanently damaged by the war and hundreds of thousands of Afghans killed - the Taliban have again seized control of Afghanistan. The breathtaking collapse happened just weeks after a US withdrawal. How did the decisions in the war on terror lead us to this moment? As the American era ends on the twentieth anniversary of 9/11 it is time to step back and ask in the most honest possible way, how did that day change us?"

Quote from Mohammed Ali Naqvi (Co-Executive Producer):

"The series strives to tell a complete story of the 'War on Terror' by featuring perspectives beyond American voices. Our roster of contributors include Afghan Warlords and senior Taliban leadership. There was considerable risk to gain this unprecedented access. But even more valuable is the inclusion of Afghan women's rights defenders who despite unimaginable risk, challenged the Taliban. Highlighting Afghan leaders who are working towards countering Taliban rhetoric is essential - even more so now given the fall of the Afghan government."

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Country: USA.

Language: English, Pashto, Dari (Afghanistan dialects) with Subtitles.

Release Date: September 1, 2021.

Runtime: Five episodes/55minutes.

Director: Brian Knappenberger.

Executive Producers: Brian Knappenberger, Eve Marson, Lowell Bergman. 

Co-Executive Producer: Mohammed Ali Naqvi.

Production Company: Luminant Media.

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