Director: Jim Whitaker

Institute History

  • 2011 Sundance Film Festival


How does the journey of grieving and recovery unfold for individuals and a nation? Rebirth chronicles the lives of five people profoundly affected by the 9/11 attacks. As a decade passes, we witness the progress of a student whose mother perished, a widow of a first responder, a woman who survived above the impact zone, a man who oversees Ground Zero construction, and a firefighter who lost his closest friends. As they cope with the excruciating and evolving pain of loss, time helps them refashion the scaffolding of their lives.
Meanwhile, amazingly, 14 time-lapse cameras chart the entire multiyear rebuilding of 7 World Trade Center—the first structure to rise to completion after the tragedy. The site’s renewal becomes a stunning metaphor for the cycle of life while the film’s characters reflect the resilience of humanity and the possibility of transformation in the face of anguish. Inspiring a collective catharsis, this exquisitely moving documentary helps us process what is unimaginable.

— Caroline Libresco

Screening Details


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