September 11th, 2021 marked the 20 year anniversary of the largest terrorist attacks on American soil. The significance of this event not only lies within the number of lives that were taken or the brutality of the attack but also in how many people it touched. While it occurred in New York City, New York, Americans weren’t the only ones to be drastically affected by the attack. Emmanuel Tenenbaum captures this perfectly in his film Free Fall.
Tenenbaum tells the story of 9/11 in a new way: Across the ocean from it.
The film features Abraham Lewis who plays Tom, a young bank trader in London who’s under pressure to avoid losing the bank any money through investments that day. Their day starts normally enough, with the men discussing who’s off on work trips and what their goals are for the day’s investments. The men are in the midst of buying and trading stocks when the first plane hits the North Tower. From almost the first moment, Tom is convinced that it’s not an accident. The rest of Tenebaum’s short film follows how the office will deal with what may happen to the stock market if it is, in fact, a terrorist attack and how the attacks suddenly hit closer to home than any of them expected.
Lewis plays Tom in such a way that you can’t help but to root for him. Not long after the film begins, it’s clear to the viewer that Tom is a very determined man and Lewis portrays this determination with explicit skill.
Tenenbaum’s direction is not to be dismissed. With his ability to fluidly shift the cinematography between the sped-up, frenetic moments and the slow, more methodical moments of discernment from the men in the office. Free Fall is a well-timed, well-articulated film that brings viewers into a world of fear, unknowns, and uncertainty that was being experienced by those around the world on September 11th, 2001.