Cuban filmmaker Iván Acosta. Archive image.
Cuban filmmaker Iván Acosta. Photo: 

Twenty years after 9/11, 'Behind My Eyes' by Iván Acosta to be screened

The Cuban filmmaker witnessed the attack on the Twin Towers on Sept. 11, 2001 and filmed what happened from the balcony of his home.


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Cuban filmmaker Iván Acosta witnessed the attack on the Twin Towers on Sept. 11, 2001, and recorded everything from the balcony of his apartment.

In the days following the attack, he continued to record images of the streets of New York and later turned everything he recorded into the documentary Detrás de mis ojos (Behind My Eyes).

On Sept. 7, 2021 the New York Public Library will present the documentary in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks.

Behind My Eyes is a documentary narrated in first person from the perspective of an eyewitness to what happened that day. It is narrated in Spanish, as the filmmaker dedicates it to the Latinos who lost their lives in the attacks.

The images recorded by Acosta began to take shape in 2019, after professor Raul Barcelona joined the editing and production effort behind the project. 

Acosta told EFE that "every time I saw it, it made me sad and I left it thinking about making a film. The documentary was made with a lot of heart. Emotionally it was very hard work for the team. During the editing process they relived what happened, from the impact of the planes to everything New Yorkers experienced during the attack and the families of the victims."

"I tried to make it as neutral as possible in text, lyrics and editing."

The documentary begins by recalling the day he arrived in the New York neighborhood where he settled, a place that would be a window for him to witness the attack.

"I looked south, and from a huge gap in the north tower there were flames and a lot of black smoke coming out," while in the nearby streets everything seemed "normal." Acosta grabbed his camera almost as a reflex and began filming everything he was observing, capturing the most impressive and distressing moments of the attack. Days later, he went out into the street to record how the streets had been left in rubble.

The documentary reflects the human point of view and what he felt and saw during the attack.


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