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September Morning (2017) REVIEW

A moving day-in-the-life film about friendship during a time of tragedy.

September Morning takes us back to the dark days of sixteen years ago when tragedy struck America. It does so by offering a different perspective than what we’re used to in these films.

Written and directed by Ryan Frost, the film stars Patrick Cage II, Troy Doherty, Michael Grant, Katherine C. Hughes, Taylor Rose, with Michael Liu, and Max Gail.

For those that lived through it, everyone remembers where they were on the morning of September 11, 2001. For writer-director Ryan Frost, he was a freshman in college at the time, so naturally it makes sense to tell the story from a college freshman’s perspective and have a group of college freshman huddle around into the dark hours as September 12th begins. He was in the early weeks of college life on campus in Virginia and was only beginning to form that core group of friends to hang out with.

September 11th was a day that made people grow up quicker than planned. It wouldn’t be an understatement to say that normalcy for so many Americans ended that morning and life would change as we knew it. For those of us who lived through it, we still know where we were when we found out about the attacks (Keyboarding, 2nd period, Ballard High School in Louisville, Ky.).

The film opens up with The TODAY Show footage featuring co-host Matt Lauer that so many of us are used to seeing over the years before the camera pans to a few of the freshman watching TV. These five freshman are still learning who they are but with the tragic events, they also needed to escape the reality of the situation going on around them and talk about things that made them laugh. Or just to get things off of their chest.

Taking a break from the news, the five freshman decide to order pizza. Even though they don’t even know if they should eat, the last of them, a ROTC student, arrives with beer for everyone. Three boys and two girls will stay up all night sharing stories and jokes with each other even as they have yet to hear from family members. They share their thoughts on everything, really, as the night moves closer to the morning sunrise. There’s a whole discussion on anti-Semitism to name an example. It’s the bonds forged through the friendships that will keep them close as they move forward in life.

The children who were born after September 11th are soon going to be turning 16 years old. As hard to believe as it is, these children entered a world in which they didn’t experience this national tragedy on American soil. For my generation, it was our Pearl Harbor or JFK assassination. How will American history will be remembered going forward? What Ryan Frost hopes to do through September Morning is offer a window into the lives of college students who come-of-age in 2001.

Distributed by Candy Factory Films, September Morning opened in select theaters and digital HD on September 8, 2017.

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