Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Filmed under the title The Big Dance, this tense, made-for-cable docudrama recreates the events following the devastating terrorist attack on New York City and Washington, D.C., on September 11, 2001. The focus is on President George W. Bush, here played by Timothy Bottoms. Inasmuch as the film was assembled by a man avowedly sympathetic to Bush (Hollywood veteran Lionel Chetwynd), there are few ambiguities here: The president acts swiftly, decisively, and dispassionately, and there's no time to raise any questions about judgment, discretion, or diplomatic missteps, past, present, or future. Chetwynd's teleplay utilizes several well-known factoids (the president wanted to return to Washington immediately after the attack, but his advisors wouldn't let him) along with a number of newly unearthed information bites (the crew of Air Force One had to use cell phones to contact the DC airport, out of concern that their radio would alert terrorists to their location). Also dramatized are the efforts by the government to gather evidence against al-Qaida, and the president's inspiring address to the nation ten days after the tragedy. DC 9/11: Time of Crisis debuted September 7, 2003, on the Showtime network.
September 11th, terrorist-attack, national-tragedy, President, aftermath, American [nationality], political-crisis