Synopsis by Mark Deming
In the wake of the terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington D.C., of September 11, 2001, Jim Simpson, the creative director of New York City's Flea Theater Company, wanted to stage a theater piece which would deal with the human impact of this tragedy. When Simpson met journalist Anne Nelson, he discovered a true life story which dealt with the September 11 incidents in an intimate but affecting manner, and he encouraged her to adapt her story into a play; the drama quickly became a major critical success, and Simpson made his screen directorial debut with this film adaptation. Joan (Sigourney Weaver) is a veteran journalist who through a friend finds herself taking on an unusual assignment: Nick is a captain in the New York Fire Department who lost eight of the 12 men in his company while attempting to evacuate the World Trade Center towers following the terrorist attacks. Nick has been given the responsibility of delivering their eulogies at a series of memorial services, but Nick has no experience with such things and isn't sure of what to say. Joan volunteers to help, and over the course of several days she interviews Nick, finding out how much (or how little) he knew about the men under his command, and together they try to find the words to honor each man's memory, and pay tribute to their sacrifices in the larger picture of a national tragedy. Sigourney Weaver, who appeared in the initial Flea Theater Company production of The Guys, is also the wife of director Jim Simpson; Bill Murray, Tim Robbins, Susan Sarandon, and Amy Irving are among the actors who have also lent their talents to the show.
firefighter, firehouse, interview, memorial, national-tragedy, reporter, September 11th, terrorism, terrorist-attack, tribute, volunteer