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By Film Threat Staff | October 6, 2001

Los Angeles filmmaker Rene Rigal was in New York to present his film “Fish in a Barrel” when tragedy struck. He responded by hitting the streets with his camera. The result is footage that will be used for a documentary he plans to finish later this year.
“We were in New York at the time of the attacks as our film ‘Fish in a Barrel’ was to screen there on September 11th as a part of the NY Independent Film Festival,” says Rigal. “We woke up to the news and immediately went up to the 18th floor roof of the Gramercy Park Hotel, where we were staying. Both planes had hit, one tower was still standing. The next two days in New York were unimaginable, as you’ve already seen it on T.V. Nothing can express what it was actually like to be there looking at the faces of all the people. As soon as we could we took the train to the mountains of Pennsylvania to see our family. It was there that we decided to drive home instead of fly as we realized we had our Cannon Xl-1 with us. We set out to document the pulse of America the week after the attacks, the 1st week of the new world, as it was so evident to us that our country had changed and we wanted to investigate further.”
Rigal explains the project, “The result is 16 hours of footage which we will are putting together into a documentary entitled, ‘We The People.’ The interviews consist of a cross-section of Americans throughout the country. In D.C., we talked with the wife and four children of a major in the Air Force who had just been called up to Active Duty, as well as members of the A.C.L.U. and N.E.A. We met an Arab-American store owner in St. Louis who told us he would fight for this country as it has given him the gift of freedom, even though the rest of his family still lives in the Middle East. There were truckers in Kansas who thought the U.S. should, ‘turn Afghanistan into an ashtray,’ high school students in Illinois fearful of the draft, and rural children in Dorrance, Kansas who expressed their fears through pictures they had drawn. We spoke with college students in Denver, Mormon missionaries in Utah, international tourists in Las Vegas, and conclude with an interview with actor Martin Sheen upon our return to Los Angeles. These are just a few of the 35+ interviews that we documented in our travels across the United States. As you can imagine we learned a great deal about our nation.”
Filmmaker Rene Rigal plans to complete the project with co-filmmaker is Jennifer Stander in November.
Get more info on the official site for Fish in a Barrel Productions.
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