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Rebuilding the World Trade Center

Sun Sep 1, 7.30-9pm, C4

As memorial markers go, Marcus Robinson’s time-lapse film is a knockout. Robinson, an Irish artist, photographer and videomaker, has been documenting the post-9/11 project with 13 time-lapse cameras on the site since 2006, but he’s also been drawing, painting, photographing and sketching the site, and these different expressive elements, combined with traditional documentary tropes of interviews with the construction workers and filming them at work, make for a totally absorbing film.

Here are men and women who have followed in their fathers’ footsteps or changed jobs to work on 1 WTC, as the new building is called, and their stories are as compelling as you’d expect, particularly when they go back generations, as does Mohawk native Amnerican Joe ‘Flo’ McComber’s. His grandfather worked as a bolt worker in the years when NY’s first towers were climbing towards the skies; Joe now does aerial cliffhangers on 1 WTC’s beams in much the same way. There are few stats or figures to convey the scale or scope of the project, but the workers’ dedication, coupled with the footage of both the build and the building in the context of the city, convey its enormity more than any figures could.

Robinson describes the story of 1 WTC as a ‘story of light emerging out of darkness and destruction’, and while such hyperbole would normally make us cynical Brits run a mile, he’s captured its truth so well here that we can’t help but agree. C4’s 9/11 programming continues tomorrow at 9pm with ‘The Lost Hero of 9/11’.