Synopsis by Nathan Southern
The title of Beth Murphy's heart-rending activist documentary Beyond the 11th (also known as Beyond Belief) refers to 9/11, and her two chief subjects are Patti Quigley and Susan Retik, a pair of American women who lost their husbands in the September 2001 World Trade Center attacks, while each was pregnant with a daughter. Though unspeakably moved by the outpouring of support they received, Susan and Patti soon became aware of the comparative lack of assistance for Afghani widows, who number over 50,000 in the city of Kabul alone. Determined to ease the circumstances, and sensing a deep-seated emotional bond with these victims of tragedy, the American women launched their own grass-roots fundraiser for this subset of the Afghani populace: a 275-mile bicycle run from Ground Zero to Boston on September 11, 2004. Their efforts did not stop there, however -- Quigley and Retik ultimately felt moved enough by the plight of the Afghani women to jet off to Afghanistan themselves, and assist the bereft one-on-one, thus fighting terror in a most unusual and deeply felt manner. Murphy recounts Quigley and Retik's story, from 9/11 through their voyages to the Middle East.
activism, Afghanistan, bicycle-racing, journey, Middle-East, transcontinental, widow/widower, September 11th