Un-Hyped 9-11 Film Distinguishes Heroism From Patriotism


The story of September 11, 2001, for New Yorkers, has at least as many variations of heartbreak as the city has people. Less hyped than the provocative and political United 93, another film, Saint of 9/11, touches the day in a manner more befitting such an intensely personal (yet public) tragedy. The film, rather than attempting to manufacture national “meaning” from the day, instead lovingly recounts the life of just one individual who perished at the World Trade Center. Father Mychal Judge, the “saint” of the movie’s title, was the first recorded casualty of 9-11’s morning, and, in life, was also—in no particular order—a Catholic priest, a gay man, the Fire Department chaplain, and a dedicated servant of those suffering from AIDS. The New York Times presents a special screening of the film this Tuesday at the New School. As part of its TimesTalks Gay/Lesbian Series, the event includes a panel discussion on faith and sexuality featuring Malcolm Lazin, the film’s executive producer; Thomas Von Essen, former NYC fire commissioner; and Ron Buford, director of the United Church of Christ’s Still Speaking Initiative. David W. Dunlap, a NYT reporter covering Lower Manhattan, moderates the talk.