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Out Of The Clear Blue Sky (2012)
Friday, August 17, 2012
Michael Santosusso, Howard Lutnick, Sandra Palmeri
The film chronicles the untold story of Cantor Fitzgerald - the leading Wall Street bond trading company - in the days and years after the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center in New York. Directed by Danielle Gardner, the film explores the story of the organization with the single largest loss of life in the attacks through first hand accounts from family members of the victims and the surviving Cantor Fitzgerald employees, including CEO Howard Lutnick. This impactful and heartfelt film covers the whole time line of rebuilding Cantor Fitzgerald - the ups, the downs, the controversy, and to present day as they have a built a strong and caring community of survivors who are forever connected through this historic horrific tragedy.
Out Of The Clear Blue Sky (2012) | Review
Losses and Lives
It's been more than a decade since the awful Tuesday morning of September 11, 2001. For many people any reminder of that day will feel like opening a wound that has never healed. Although we also need to realize that there is a whole generation quickly coming up for whom September 11 is a date in history books, not their own lives. Some people are probably tired of September 11 stories. There are so many of them, because it was such a world-changing event.
The person we hear from most is Howard Lutnick, Cantor Fitzgerald's CEO. He was not in the building that day because he was taking his son to his first day at kindergarten. Because his company lost so many, Lutnick became one of those the media went to for comments during the next several days. But that fame also came back to haunt him later.
The film takes us through the many down times both for the company and for the survivors. It also shows the way these people came together. In time the company would set aside 25% of profits for five years (which would have gone to the company's partners) for distribution to the families of those lost in the attack. They also provided health care for ten years. In all, over $180 million.
The film works best as an exploration into the grief that followed the 9/11 attacks. There was national grief, but we also see very clearly the personal grief of some of the survivors. Grief is not just a sorrow. It manifests itself in many ways, often in anger. That too is a part of what we see through the process, especially during the first few months, as Lutnick and others tried to rebuild both the company and relationships.
At times this film is difficult to watch. One reason is that, as I said earlier, these are wounds that for many will never fully heal. Even a decade after the fact, the emotional response to those events can produce a very strong reaction. It is also hard at times because we see people baring parts of their souls for us as they relate their experiences of those days.
The reward for making it through the film is a reminder of what great things can happen when people care for one another and commit themselves to working together even in the darkest of times. Cantor Fitzgerald will never be the same company—not just because they lost so many people, but also because those who remain have been deeply changed.
Copyright © 2012 Hollywood Jesus. All rights reserved.
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