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Know Thy Enemy


The dramatised documentary "The Hamburg Cell" is being shown on Britain's Channel 4 on Thursday 2 September 2004. This is the biography of the 9/11 bombers.

Review and film clip

The film shows the bombers as people, rather than statistics from some official file or as propaganda. Al Qaeda was allowed to perform its anti-American activates because no one knew what to look for. In accordance with that old military adage ‘know thy enemy’ so time to watch and learn.

"The Hamburg Cell" dramatised documentary is not an anti-Bush film. US voters are probably going to have to wait until after the election before viewing it.

Understated docu-drama following the men who planned and carried out the attacks of 9/11

"When the world talks about the men who carried out this holy operation they will be talking about the men who changed the course of history," exclaims a senior Al Qaeda member in this fictional docu-drama from director Antonia Bird. Charting the planning and execution of the World Trade Center attacks by a handful of Muslim fundamentalists led by Mohamed Atta (Kamel), The Hamburg Cell is a devastatingly powerful work that puts faces and personalities to the men who carried out the attacks against the US on the fateful morning of September 11th.

Based on a wide range of documentary evidence, from court transcriptions to video footage, this simmering yet understated little movie focuses on Lebanese student Ziad Jarrah (Saleh) as he's transformed from rich-boy student at the University of Applied Science in Hamburg to jihadist hijacker of United Airlines flight 93 (which crashed en route to the White House shortly after simultaneous attacks struck the Twin Towers and the Pentagon).

Caught the end of this last night after watching Riddick.

Was very impressed. Presented a very chilling look into the mindset and workings of a terrorist cell.
The weak link lead character, who had just got engaged and been given a Mercedes by his dad presented a very intresting juxtaposition to his comrades attitudes.
The nature of the attack was handled well, in a responsible fashion. The film, whilst not anti-Bush does highlight the failures on the part of U.S. intellegence to respond to repeated warnings.
The religous reasons behind the suicide attacks were simplified slightly, but all in all a good film.

Also, Doctor Bashir from DS9 (Alexander ???) turned up.
I assume that the married man was chosen to carry the story because he left a wife behind to report what happened.
Hard to say.

He may have been chosen as the POV character because he is the one who starts in a "place" (in terms of his overall life and apparent goals) with which a Western audiance is most likely to be able to identify. That allows that little bit of emotional investment that will get more people to keep watching and actually paying attention. That audiance identification would be tougher to get if you center on a character who has been a hard-core bomber-waiting-to-happen for their entire life.

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