By Emmanuel Tenenbaum | Drama
A young trader jumps into the biggest trade of his life amid the September 11 attacks.
Tom is a young trader working in a bank in London, but his recent performance has put his job on the line.
But when a plane hits the World Trade Center in New York on a sunny morning on September 11, Tom is convinced that it’s a terrorist attack and not an accident as many think. Looking to save his job, he jumps into the biggest trade of his life.
Directed by Emmanuel Tenenbaum from a script by Guillaume Fornier that is based on the book Swimming with Sharks by Joris Luyendijk, this Oscar-qualified short drama is a compelling study of greed, fear and morality within a high-powered corporate environment. Taking the events of 9/11 as a backdrop, the film’s tense, propulsive writing, pitch-perfect performances and commanding craftsmanship traces how greed warps the humanity of its central character, who is so eager to save his job and make money that he exploits the opportunity that the supposed “accident” presents, forgetting about the human beings trapped in the burning tower he’s watching on TV.
Part of what makes the Oscar-qualified “Free Fall” compelling is the gulf between the audience’s knowledge of its historical backdrop and its characters’ lack of it in its present tense. Watching Tom exploit the uncertainty of the situation — knowing what we know of 9/11 now — makes his actions particularly haunting. It culminates to a crescendo of adrenaline, building into a final sequence that juxtaposes one human drama against the backdrop of a geopolitical one, to bitter, haunting and devastating effect.
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