Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Utilizing a "first-person" video technique, the cable-TV documentary Telling Nicholas puts a human face on one of the most devastating tragedies of recent memory. Filmmaker James Ronald Whitney was seven blocks away from New York's World Trade Center when, on September 11, 2001, two hijacked planes rammed into the Center's twin towers, destroying them both. After quickly filming the disaster with the help of his ace cameraman Aaron Davies, Whitney rushed to Ground Zero to get a closer look at the carnage. Here, his attention was drawn to a "missing" poster bearing a photo of 36-year-old Michele Lanza, who worked on the 97th floor of tower two. Quickly journeying to the Long Island community of Tottenville, Whitney and Davies located Lanza's family, and, for the next eight days, the two filmmakers chronicled an in-depth investigation of the grim aftermath of 9/11. While much of the footage is devoted to the nervous relationship between the Lanzas and the family of a missing Muslim WTC worker, the most poignant moment occurs when Michelle Lanza's 7-year-old son Nicholas, who for many days had been kept in the dark concerning the tragedy, is finally informed of his mother's fate. Telling Nicholas was presented as an episode of the HBO anthology America Undercover on May 12, 2002.
child, death, disaster, missing-person, mother, September 11th, terrorism