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Three Days in September - Preview

Three Days in September

Preview by Jack Foley

THIS year’s Tribeca Film Festival looks set to feature some pretty emotive filmmaking.

The festival – which was the brainchild of Robert De Niro – is already set to host the premiere of Paul Greengrass’ United 93 (about the fourth plane to be hijacked on September 11, 2001).

But it will also be taking a look at other timely world issues in films such as Three Days in September, a documentary narrated by Julia Roberts.

The film examines the events that took place in Chechnya on September 1, 2004, when a Chechen warlord led a group of armed terrorists in holding an entire school in the Russian town of Beslan hostage.

The date was particularly timely, given that every Russian Federation school celebrates a holiday known as the Day of Knowledge, on September 1.

At School Number One in Beslan, this tradition was exploited by the terrorists as an opportunity to seize some 1,200 hostages.

Over the course of the next three days, the world watched in terror as reports emerged of the horror that took place inside the school while Russian authorities attempted to secure a safe resolution.

Sadly, the end result left hundreds of children and adults wounded or dead.

Joe Halderman’s 75-minute documentary promises to offer a fascinating, yet harrowing look at what took place during those three days thanks largely to footage that was captured using a parent’s own video camera – used by the Chechen terrorists to document the massacre.

The footage reveals the utter panic and desperation of the hostages as they are forced to endure bombs being wired over their heads, random shootings, and rocketing temperatures in a school gymnasium without any water.

The camera also shows how the people outside came to be infuriated and frustrated by the government’s inability to rescue their loved ones.

Three Days In September combines guerilla footage and interviews with family members, soldiers, politicians, school officials and survivors that offer a shattering insight into what took place.

As the Tribeca website states in its preview of the documentary: “This is a film that, once seen, is not easily forgotten.”

The film should open in UK cinemas later this year.