The terrorist attack on the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 is one of the most marking events of the 21st century. Twenty years later we still think back to it, the horrible loss of life and where we were/how we felt when we first heard about it. Director Emmanual Tenenbaum (Deux Dollars, Sans Plomb) and writer Guillaume Fournier’s (Arcadiana, Squat) film Free Fall taps into those very emotions, but against a rather unexpected backdrop.
Working as a trader in a London bank, Tom (Abraham Lewis – How to Talk to Girls at Parties) is in a sticky situation as he has not been doing well at his job. There are whispers of a firing. Even his co-workers are talking of it. Tom is certainly feeling the pressure.
On September 9, 2001, the young traders are all at the desks, after a pep talk by their boss, waiting for the buzzer to sound to begin their hectic day on the phone and looking at screens. When the first plane hits one of the towers of the World Trade Centre all are horrified by what they are seeing and what it means in regards to loss of life.
While others are frantically watching and wondering what is going on, Tom sees his opportunity and begins making phone calls. The phone calls are to colleagues who he believes to be in NYC and are an attempt to get an early indication of what is going on so he can predict before others what is going to happen with the market, which is largely based in that city.
After those calls, he is almost sure that the planes were terrorist attacks. Knowing that this will have an effect on the market worldwide, Tom goes to his boss with his belief and what they should do. A risk as he is not completely sure and his job is already hanging by a thread. One more mistake and…then a phone call from his colleague Freddie (Sebastian Armesto – Anonymous, Bright Star) changes everything.
Amazingly this was inspired by a true story. Cannot believe this happened to someone! It is based on the best-selling novel Swimming with Sharks by Joris Luyendijk. The film has done so well on the festival circuit that it is now in consideration for an Oscar nomination. Packs a lot of emotions in its 19 minutes.
French director Tenenbaum and Quebec City writer Fournier have made their third short film together. It has been a fruitful partnership as their previous shorts have earned them several awards. They are now working on their first feature film.