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Former mayor Giuliani says film exceeded expectations
NEW YORK -- HBO's documentary about the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center gets high praise from one of the heroes of that day -- Rudolph Giuliani.
The former New York City mayor, who leads viewers through "In Memoriam: New York City, 9/11/01," said the documentary helps show the tragedy from many locations around the city and personal perspectives.
"I think they had to strike an enormously impossible balance, which was to describe what happened that day in a way that conveyed the horror of the events and the full scope of what happened in the city," Giuliani said.
The one-hour documentary is made up of still and video images from more than 100 sources, including television networks, news agencies and eyewitnesses with cameras. It premiered Sunday night.
Giuliani, who pushed hard to make the project happen, said it was important to collect all the footage and images as a sort of oral history.
"My primary purpose of doing this was not so much the documentary but the compilation of the oral histories," he said.
The documentary elicited a deeply emotional response from the approximately 1,200 military and rescue personnel who were shown an advance screening on Friday.
"It's an amazing sort of quilt -- I don't know what the right word is -- a menagerie of images from all five boroughs about how the city responded and reacted," said Navy Reserve Commander Patrick Burns.
"You come away with it understanding the human side of it. You can't watch it and not walk away understanding that this was a human event, this was a horrific disaster about people -- not about two buildings that fell."
Burns, who worked in Battery Park City, a residential neighborhood next to the World Trade Center complex, saw the collapse of the twin towers, which killed more than 2,800 people.