In the wake of the September 11 attacks, New York City filmmakers Martin Scorsese and Spike Lee crafted vivid tributes to a wounded metropolis.
David Liu | 8 September 2011
Fifteen months after the destruction of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, New York City was reborn in glorious fashion on celluloid.
It took a pair of feature films from two of the city’s most influential filmmakers to do it. The first, Queens native Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York, framed a father-son revenge saga around immigrant life in Civil War-era New York and the 1863 draft riots. The second, Brooklyn resident Spike Lee’s 25th Hour, followed a convicted drug dealer as he navigates post-9/11 New York City before serving a seven-year prison sentence.
Set 140 years apart, the films coalesced remarkably in their portrayals of the turbulent divisions shared between the city’s past and present.