911 Mysteries

STUDIO: CFP Domestic
MSRP: $12.98
RUNNING TIME: 90 Minutes


The Pitch

“It’s like V for Vendetta, if you subtract the
political relevance.”

The Humans

An assortment of 9/11 survivors, theorists, and experts. And
one lunatic with a copy of Adobe Premier.

The Nutshell

Did you know someone (not pointing fingers) was responsible
for the terrorist attacks on the World
Trade Center
Yeah, I mean, aside from the terrorists. I’m not pointing fingers, but
mysteries surrounding the attack suggest something more complicated. Now, I’m
not pointing fingers, just so you know; I’ll let the evidence speak for itself.


Fucking arrows did it.

The Lowdown

I’ve had my share of intellectually corrupt material to
review here at CHUD during my (sadly ending) tenure. From the occasional bit of
fiction that stretches a flawed or disconnected premise (The King) to the
non-fiction that sacrifices persuasive argument in favor of alarmism (Islam
– What The West Needs to Know
). Strangely enough, most of these films
have to do with religion, turning me into a one trick pony. “Don’t be an idiot
when it comes to religion,” I cry, without much of a platform to stand on.

Today is the day I learn a new trick, and I’m so goddamn
excited to show it to you.

Here goes. “Don’t be an idiot when it comes to conspiracy
theories.” Again, I’m standing on sand here, but the sand is made up of tiny
pieces of ground-up common sense. It’s kind of hard not to toe the idiot line when considering conspiracy theories, but
where 911 Mysteries (implying there are going to be 910 more of these
circular shits?) is concerned I’ve got to start simple.

Like the Loose Change abomination, the
inconsistencies of which have been explained away by its creators as
“intentional” to inspire the audience to research on their own, 911
(they didn’t put a slash, so I won’t put a slash) is a
terribly misleading abuse of an editing suite designed to leap at half-truths,
shovel sand into the eyes of the emotionally susceptible, and bark up trees
which are only there in the goggle-eyed vision of filmmaker Sofia Shafquat.

Spider-Man 3 previs sequence from when Raimi thought the crane scene wasn’t cool enough.

I don’t exactly have limited space here, but I do have
limited brain power and haven’t myself fully researched all the claims made in 911
. Fortunately for me, there are sites such as this one
which travel point-by-point through the film, providing additional information and
cross-checking facts as necessary. It is through this guide that I first heard
about a claim of Shafquat manipulating camcorder footage included in the film to
support a point, which, if true, is unscrupulous at best and despicable at

However, since I can’t pick apart the misstatements individually,
I will instead gladly harp on how 911 Mysteries is an example of how
not to couch any sort of argument, crackpot or otherwise. (Unfortunately, my
harp only has two strings.)

The first mistake comes right out of the gate, as the
filmmaker addresses the camera directly and, in the process, places a
significant block in the path of the audience’s trust for the material that
follows. The fumble-tongue in question occurs when he says that he “literally”
didn’t sleep for a week while assembling the documentary. If he’s exaggerating,
then he’s already broken trust with the audience by doing so; if he’s telling
the truth, then he has discredited himself handily in the first two minutes of
the film.

In fine form, Popular Mechanics responded with Debunking Debunking 9/11 Debunking.
Mr. Griffin responded with "WKLB" and smugly refused to explain the acronym.

That makes the first lesson: Maintain an air of
professionalism, or no one will respect your work.

The second is this: Execute your research with diligence. Sure,
the halls of academia ring with the giddy laughter of doctoral candidates
cherry-picking evidence to support their hypotheses, but do you, a filmmaker,
really want to be compared to academics?
No, of course not. That’s why you need to research thoroughly, and present from
that research your most compelling argument. You may have to adapt your thesis
along the way.

It didn’t quite happen that way for 911 Mysteries. I can’t
comment on the research methods employed, but good methods result in a
well-ordered presentation, which takes into account and deals with claims
counter to the thesis. What you get with this film is a mess of chronologically-confused
events, inadequately cited references, and eyewitness information truncated
(or, if true, edited) to introduce only the small domain of points Shafquar wants.
This kind of disingenuous editing lends the whole film the feel of a zealot,
unwilling to listen to opposing viewpoints lest they shake his faith.

No joke, the average penis length of the NYFD.

All these failures in method combine to carry a thesis that
will continue to fascinate people more than it probably should, that being that
something fishy went down on September
11, 2001
. (More fishy than passenger jets flying into occupied
office buildings, I mean.) For a piece of work that claims not to point
fingers, the goal clear through is damnation. Unfortunately for Shafquar, the
methods of the film are those of a small intellect. It takes smart moves to
trick someone into hell. Insomnia and absolute certainty are incapable

For anyone interested in more, the History Channel recently had a thoughtful and well-researched examination of various 9/11 mysteries.

The Package

It’s not biodegradable. Also, I think there may be some
asbestos in it.

1 out of 10