Spike Lee Partners With HBO for 9/11 Docuseries

This Spike Lee Joint is set to be an “epic chronicle of life, loss, and survival in the city of New York.”

Spike Lee loves New York – and like any true New Yorker, he believes in the city. He knows New Yorkers are resilient, that they’ve overcome challenges before, and that they will again. This year marks the 20th anniversary of one of the most traumatic crises the city has experienced: the terrorist attacks on 9/11. To honor this moment, a new Spike Lee project is coming to HBO. The multi-part documentary is about 9/11 and its aftermath, but it’s also about New York’s capacity to rebuild and rise above even the most heartbreaking and difficult events.

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The series is called NYC Epicenters 9/11→ 2021 1/2, a reference to the many times when New York City has been considered the epicenter of a crisis – as in the spring of last year, when it became the national epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic. But it’s not all bad; New York City is also an epicenter of art, culture, and unbelievable human resilience, as Lee’s film aims to show. This isn’t the first time Lee has worked with HBO. He has directed several films for the network, the most recent being David Byrne’s American Utopia, a well-reviewed look into Byrne’s Broadway musical.

Lee explained in a statement: “As a New Yawker who bleeds orange and blue (the colors of New York City), I’m proud to have a ‘Spike Lee Joint’ about how our/my city dealt with being the epicenters of 9/11 and COVID-19. With over 200 interviews, we dig deep into what makes NYC the greatest city on this God’s earth and also the diverse citizens who make it so. Over centuries pundits and straight haters have proclaimed NYC was dead and stinkin’, only to be proved wrong. You will lose ya money betting against New York, New York. And dat’s da truth, Ruth. Be Safe. Peace And Love.”

Spike Lee wears orange and blue in support of the New York Knicks. Al Bello/Getty Images

With so much pride in his city, Lee is sure to create a remarkable portrait of its persistence and bravery in the face of hard times. The project is directed and produced by Lee and edited by Barry Alexander Brown and Adam Gough. We can expect its release later this year.



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