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By Doug Brunell | November 7, 2003

The most effective scene in “Late For Work” is a slow pan of a wall festooned with hastily made missing people fliers. These types of scenes, just like the one in “28 Days Later,” always get a reaction from me. Seeing something like that clearly demonstrates the scale of the tragedy that necessitated the making of those fliers. In the case of “Late For Work,” the tragedy is 9/11.
Peehl, using music from the likes of Moby and Dido, films people as they look at the ambulances racing past. He captures the foul smoke as it oozes between buildings, and he focuses on blank faces lit by hundreds of memorial candles. Yes, the politicians’ favorite disaster is revisited one more time, but it doesn’t elicit the type of reaction I believe was desired by Peehl.
Peehl spends a lot of time focusing the camera on the smoke, probably because it was such an overwhelming force that day. That camera should’ve been more focused on the people, however. There are some shots of them, but not nearly enough. I can understand not wanting to be exploitive, but if you want future generations to remember this event and not forget it like Vietnam, you have to show the emotions on the faces of those who were there. The fear, the tears, the utter anguish. We all know how bad it was, but will future generations understand just how different America felt on that day? They won’t if they watch this film, though it is an admirable effort.

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