Rebirth at Ground Zero: Documentary charts the restoration of Trade Center and 9/11 survivors
L.A.-based Jim Whitaker, who spent years with Hollywood giant Imagine Entertainment as an executive, prolific producer and president of motion pictures, doesn’t seem the likeliest film person to deliver a documentary about 9/11 that was over eight years in the making.
But that’s the journey Whitaker took for his debut feature, Rebirth, which examines both the rebirth of the Ground Zero of such mass destruction in downtown Manhattan and that of five people intimately connected to the tragic loss of nearly 3,000 lives during the attacks.
The doc is a celebration of courage and resilience and of the recovery and reshaping of both buildings and lives. Whether they saw the destruction live in downtown Manhattan or on TV screens, viewers will also be reminded of their own recoveries and how large and small miracles—personal and collectively shared—pave the way.
The film is one component of Whitaker’s nonprofit Project Rebirth, which is designing and providing content for the permanent installation at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum located at Ground Zero. The initiative also comprises the Project Rebirth Center, which is developing and providing new multimedia tools for those who help victims of severe traumas.
Filming since 2002, Whitaker records the transformation of five people whose lives were forever altered on Sept. 11, 2001 and intercuts, via unprecedented multi-camera time-lapse photography, the evolution of the space where the Twin Towers once stood and where new buildings arise.