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Spike Lee Tackling 20th Anniversary of September 11 in HBO Documentary Series

Spike Lee's latest project is billed as an "epic chronicle of life, loss, and survival" spanning the last 20 years in New York City.

Spike Lee

Spike Lee

Stephen Lovekin/Variety

Spike Lee is taking a long look at New York City for an upcoming HBO documentary that will chronicle life in the city over the two decades since the September 11 terrorist attacks.

HBO announced on Monday that Lee will direct and produce the “NYC EPICENTERS 9/11→2021½” documentary series. Per HBO, the series is an “epic chronicle of life, loss, and survival in the city of New York over the 20 years since the September 11 attacks. The multi-part documentary event will offer an unprecedented, sweeping portrait of New Yorkers as they rebuild and rebound, from a devastating terrorist attack through the ongoing global pandemic. Capturing the history through a staggering amount of visual imagery, and featuring first-hand accounts from a panoply of citizens from all walks of life, the documentary will debut later in the year.”

“As a New Yawker who bleeds orange and blue (the colors of New York City), I’m proud to have a ‘Spike Lee Joint’ about how our/my city dealt with being the epicenters of 9/11 and COVID-19,” Lee said in a statement. “With over 200 interviews, we dig deep into what makes NYC the greatest city on this God’s earth and also the diverse citizens who make it so. Over centuries pundits and straight haters have proclaimed NYC was dead and stinkin’, only to be proved wrong. You will lose ya money betting against New York, New York. And dat’s da truth, Ruth. Be Safe. Peace And Love.”

An episode count and a specific release date were not provided by HBO.

“NYC EPICENTERS 9/11→2021½” will mark the latest in a string of collaborations between Lee and HBO. Lee directed “David Byrne’s American Utopia,” which received positive reviews from critics last year, as well as HBO titles such as “4 Little Girls” and “When the Levees Broke.”

“We’re thrilled to have another groundbreaking HBO documentary event from Spike Lee,” Lisa Heller and Nancy Abraham, co-heads of HBO Documentary Films, said in a statement. “From documenting the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans to the 9/11 attack on New York City and beyond, we treasure Spike’s singular capacity to chronicle and pay tribute to the human toll of these historic events while bearing profound witness to the strength and resiliency of the human spirit.”

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