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Artisan Home Entertainment presents
New York Firefighters: The Brotherhood of 9/11 (2002)

"As we always say, 'Expect the unexpected,' but sometimes the unexpected gets ya and that's what happened. Nobody expected that."
- Mickey Conroy, Firefighter

Review By: Jesse Shanks   
Published: October 09, 2002

Stars: Stockard Channing
Director: Peter Schnall

MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Run Time: 00h:49m:58s
Release Date: August 20, 2002
UPC: 012236130420
Genre: documentary

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer

DVD Review

September 11th, 2001 is the most documented tragedy in history, starting with the live coverage to the countless stories, both large and small, that have been told since that day. On that morning, eight men from Rescue 3 of the New York City Fire Department rushed to the World Trade Center on life-saving missions and would never return. New York Firefighters focuses on the surviving members of the family that is known as Rescue 3 and explores the effects on the unit and its larger family in the aftermath.

This is a well-made documentary that rises above mawkishness to provide a poignant glimpse into the lives of these often ignored heroes who, even on normal days, risk their lives to fight fires and other disasters. If there has been any aspect of the 9/11 tragedy that is positive, it is the way that our perceptions of what is important has been altered. People like firefighters, rescue workers, and police, who are always underpaid, understaffed and presented with unrealistic demands, have assumed a new level of appreciation that should not be allowed to fade. To hear the story of a man who devoted 11 years of his life to fighting one of the most persistent and dangerous scourges of urban existence, a fire, and had his life snuffed out in a instant cannot help but make one pause in following the latest bizarre antics of some overpaid, over-sexed, over-exposed celebrity.

Stockard Channing provides a very straightforward and effective narration. The direction and writing are all quite sufficient for what must have been a rushed production. There is quite a bit of detail about the day-to-day work lives of these squads and the history of firefighting in New York.

This documentary would seem to have a somewhat narrow potential audience but is well worth it for those who are interested in a fine depiction of human beings rising to a situation.

Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: B+


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: Like other documentaries from Artisan and the Discovery Channel, the image quality is very good. The full-frame presentation is rich and crisp in color and balance.

Image Transfer Grade: B+


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes

Audio Transfer Review: The audio transfer is quite sufficient and weaves the various sound elements into a decent presentation that befits the disc.

Audio Transfer Grade: B


Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 10 cues and remote access
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: Not much in the way of extras, but that is not the focus of this disc, which is a fast release of a timely topic.

Extras Grade: C


Final Comments

A compelling and interesting slice of the history of 9/11 that focuses on one unit in the New York Fire Department, to examine the effects of that tragedy on the people involved. A well-made documentary about a difficult subject.


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