Spike Lee pays tribute to how his hometown of New York City overcame both the September 11th attacks and the Covid-19 pandemic in NYC Epicenters 9/11➔2021½, a new four-part “documentary essay” that unveiled its first trailer on Monday. The series premieres Sunday, August 22nd on HBO, and will available to stream on HBO Max.
Just as he explored the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans for his HBO series When the Levees Broke, Lee shines a light on New York’s recent twin tragedies through over 200 interviews with people from all walks of life. Along with interviewing local politicians and public figures like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Bill De Blasio and Dr. Anthony Fauci, and celebrities like Rosie Perez, Steve Buscemi and John Turturro, Lee also spoke with with 9/11 first responders, developers of the Covid-19 vaccine, and activists who joined forces during the George Floyd protests in the summer of 2020.
Along with the interviews, the documentary series will feature Lee’s reflections on the events through his own films, such as Do the Right Thing, The 25th Hour (which was made directly in response to 9/11), and Inside Man, along with classic pictures like On the Waterfront, Casablanca, and On the Town. Lee also shares how he experienced the pandemic and the recent protests for racial justice within his current neighborhood of Fort Greene, Brooklyn.