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My Name is Khan to New York, Films Inspired by the Ghastly Attacks

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Saturday marks the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the United States. The devastating terrorist attacks in New York, Pentagon, and Pennsylvania left nearly 3,000 people dead. Being one of the most defining moments of the 21st century, the terror attacks and their repercussions continue to inspire movies and television series. From Hollywood to Bollywood, artists and storytellers have presented various perspectives on the attack and its aftermath.

Let us take a look at some of the movies inspired by the al-Qaeda-led terrorist attack:

The Mauritanian (2021)The most recent movie made in Hollywood with 9/11 as its backdrop is The Mauritanian. Based on true events, the movie shows the human rights violation done by the American authorities post 9/11 against Muslims around the world as they searched for the perpetrators of the attacks. The movie shows how Mohamedou Ould Slahi, a man from Mauritania was kidnapped and incarcerated for 14 years without being charged with any crime, in Guantanamo Bay. Slahi faced brutal torture at the infamous prison camp as American authorities showed their desperation to nab the real culprits. Directed by Kevin Macdonald, the movie stars Tahar Rahim, Jodie Foster, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Shailene Woodley.

Zero Dark Thirty (2012)Starring Jessica Chastain as a reclusive CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) agent, this movie shows how the American intelligence got together to search for the al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden, the man who planned the 9/11 attacks. Chastain’s character Maya, is seen leading the search and interrogations with suspects as she tries to look for Laden. The movie’s climax shows how the US marines were called in to lead a secret mission capturing and killing Laden just like it happened in reality. Directed by Kathryn Bigelow, the movie also starred Chris Pratt, Jason Clarke, and Jennifer Ehle.

The Report (2019)Based on true events The Report shows how an FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) agent led an investigation against the CIA’s rampant human rights violation against suspects of 9/11 attacks. Directed by Scott Z. Burns, this movie stars Adam Driver playing Daniel Jones who runs an exhaustive investigation and creates a report after being asked by US Senator Dianne Feinstein, played by Annette Bening. The movie shows how the CIA tried to prevent the report that implicated the intelligence agency for serious human rights violations against innocent men from across the world just on the suspicion of being Muslim.

My Name is Khan (2010)This Bollywood movie, shows Shah Rukh Khan playing the role of a Muslim man Rizwan Khan with Asperger’s syndrome living in the US. Rizwan marries Mandira, a single mother played by Kajol. However, after the 9/11 attacks, the community started viewing Khan and many Muslims in the country with suspicion. The plot thickens when Mandira’s son is killed and she blames Rizwan for it. Directed by Karan Johar, the movie traces the journey of Rizwan and how he tries to clear his name and of many other Muslims in the US who faced hostilities from their own neighbours.

New York (2009)Directed by Kabir Khan, the movie deals with the lives of three friends studying at the fictional New York State University whose lives are changed by the September 11 attacks and its aftermath.

The movie takes place in two timelines, one is before the attacks when the three friends played by Katrina Kaif, John Abraham, and Neil Nitin Mukesh are studying, while another timeline shows how Mukesh’s character is forced to spy on Abraham for being a suspected terrorist.

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