“11 Minutes” is the scariest – and frustrating – docuseries of the year

In terms of pure empirical terror, 11 minutes He has a few non-fiction equalizers, using a combination of mobile phone videos and a body camera to put viewers right in the middle mass shooting At the Route 91 Harvest Country Music Festival in Las Vegas on October 1, 2017. 58 people were killed that evening and 869 were injured, all due to the deadly actions of a lone gunman who fired from a room on the 32nd floor of the building. Mandalay Bay Hotel. Boasting the commentary of Jason Aldean, who was onstage when the frenzy broke out, director Jeff Zimbalist’s four-part documentary series (September 27, Paramount+) plunges into the momentary chaos of that disaster with astonishing urgency. It is a long picture of Hell, figuratively speaking, that never ends, both in the minds of its victims and in America, where massacres like this are now somehow accepted on par with the track.

11 minutes He raises the problem of not naming the perpetrator of these heinous atrocities, arguing that doing so only serves to glorify and imitate – and also, that the individuals truly worthy of being remembered are his innocent victims and the heroes who risked their lives to save as many as possible. Sure, anyone curious about the man’s identity can quickly find it on the Internet, and since the authorities still don’t have any comprehensive clue as to why he did what he did, there isn’t much that can be gleaned from focusing on it. The biggest omission, however, is the serious discussion about our never-ending national fascination with firearms. With the exception of a fleeting five-minute segment in Episode 3 where the “discussion” about guns is introduced via TV news clips, and victim Carrie Parsons’ parents argue against assault weapons and discuss their efforts to successfully ban the impingement stockpile (which converts semi-automatic rifles into fully automatic guns), avoids The series dealt frankly with the most accessible element in this carnage.

11 minutes Frustrated at his refusal to scream — loudly, angry and hysterical — at the blatant insanity of anyone able to legally purchase more than 55 firearms in one year, including fourteen AR-15s, eight AR-10s And one bolt-action pistol in the Mandalay Bay shooter’s room. However, if the Zimbalist documentaries are deliberately subject to these more important points, their footage on the ground paints a deafening picture of the carnage that has occurred from our status quo. In the Scenes and sounds of screaming men and women mobilized for protectionracing across the grounds as bullets fly through the air, hiding behind cars and walls, frantically carrying the wounded past (and over) the dead to the police and EMTs on site, who themselves come under heavy fire and suffer critical injuries. Up close and personal for being in the midst of a mass shooting – which, unsurprisingly, resembles a war zone.

This material is harrowing, and has been edited together to provide a clear, multifaceted, chronological snapshot of how things unraveled during the attack. It is still the best, 11 minutes Driven by the memories of the wide range of attendees, police officers and medical personnel who experienced this horror, many are then accompanied by real videos and audio recordings of the stories they tell. From twin sisters Gianna and Natalia Baca and ex-boyfriend Max Parker (whose father was part of the SWAT responder team) striving to survive, to Kelly Pollard, who bravely tried to get her friend Cassie to safety, Zimbalist presents a host of influential accounts that convey One from the podium to the street to the nearby Al Shorouk Hospital, where doctors dealt with the massive influx of seriously injured patients, and where the white floors soon became covered in blood.

Among those accounts, the most poignant is the story of Jonathan Smith, a black man who faced discrimination shortly before the shooting (when a man stated that he was surprised “I love country music”), heroically evacuated people from the area, was shot in the chest, and rescued by an officer San Diego Police White Tom McGrath. in his distress, 11 minutes It captures the ugly and inspiring picture of America in the twenty-first century. The cops race to danger in order to protect the weak. Strangers put the welfare of others before their interests, and put this at great risk – and with dire consequences. And civilians demonstrate perseverance, courage, and resilience despite unbelievable circumstances—no more so than Natalie Gromit, a breast cancer survivor whose jaw was shattered by a shot from a shooter’s rifle.

Among those accounts, the most poignant is the story of Jonathan Smith, a black man who faced discrimination shortly before the shooting… who starred in evacuating people from the area, received a bullet in the chest, and was eventually rescued by white San Diego police officer Tom McGrath.

As for Aldean, he offered some notes about his own experience getting on a tour bus, as well as some cliched ideas about recovery through teamwork; DJ Silver’s anecdote was all the more intense about finding out that his one-year-old son was with a nanny on the same 32nd floor as the shooter. Although its results are now known, 11 minutes She sways vigorously anxious as she charts the attempts of the attendees to get out of the place (which Mandalay Bay has been shaded by, making it a real vulnerability to gunfire), the cops’ struggles to help as well as others, and everyone is trying to make sense of it. idiots. Meanwhile, CCTV footage of the shooter arriving at the hotel and spending time playing video poker (which was apparently his primary profession) provides a counterpoint to the calm before the storm to the bustle it incited, all for now obscure reasons. As they were at the time.

11 minutesThe value lies in its urgency, underlining the nightmare generated by our unwillingness to put in place regulations to keep military weapons out of civilian hands. However, director Zimbalist’s decision to focus on the “You’re There” chaos – and thus allow his material to do the talking – also comes across as a bit of an evasion. In the face of such tragic brutality, the docuseries’ lack of interest in confronting the source of this unavoidable suffering most frankly hurts those who lost their lives that day, and all others who died, as evident in the memorial code. In many similar tragedies that followed.

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