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Saint of 9/11
Director: Glenn Hosten (2006)
“God is present, loving, smiling, having received our loved ones. They are in his presence, illumed by his smile and warmed by his love. His kingdom is enriched by this day, so enriched by so many beautiful souls. So much beauty.”
—Father Mychal Judge, at the memorial for the victims of the 1996 crash of TWA Flight 800 off the coast of Long Island
As we near the 8th anniversary of the September 11 attacks on our country, what better way to honor the memory of those lost than by watching this celebration of the life of one of the fallen? Father Mychal Judge was a “charismatic Franciscan” (in the words of Hillary Clinton) who was killed in the line of duty in his role as the Chaplain of the New York Fire Department. The photograph of the somber firefighters carrying Father Mychal’s lifeless body out of the rubble of the first tower is one of the iconic images of the day, and Saint of 9/11 takes a personal, intimate look at the life he led to the fullest up to that momentous day.
Father Mychal Judge was every bit as human as the other victims: told from the points-of-view of those who knew him best, we learn about his struggle with alcoholism (he was 23 years sober when he died), his self-identification as a homosexual, and his defiance of the church on issues with which he disagreed. A leader in the care of AIDS patients and a friend and advocate of the homeless, Judge’s biography mirrors the social issues of the city he loved over the latter part of the last century. Narrated by Sir Ian McKellen, Judge's life is a story of caring, of love, and of bravery.
So much beauty, indeed.