Looking back at the cultural impact of 9/11

Slide show: Remembering the years after the attacks, when everything felt filtered through one September morning

Matt Zoller Seitz
September 3, 2011 3:30AM (UTC)

The second entry in our slide show series about pop culture after 9/11 covers three years, 2002-2004. It was a dense and lively period that saw movies, TV, music, literature and comics shifting out of a numb, somewhat disconnected state and becoming more reactive, then provocative, and by 2004 -- an election year -- combative.

The first installment of this series covered work that appeared in the immediate aftermath of the attacks; because so much of it was in production before the catastrophe, any associations between the work and recent events were likely to be coincidental, maybe more in the eye of the beholder than in the work itself. Starting in mid- to late 2002, though, we started to see more books, TV series, films and music that were meant as a response to the attacks: Bruce Springsteen's "The Rising," for instance, and Spike Lee's "The 25th Hour." By the time 2004 rolled around, pop culture seemed to have moved past the "can't we all just get along and grieve together?" stage. There was more work, and more statements, of an overtly political nature -- work that was explicitly designed to provoke discussions, maybe even start fights. We've collected a few memorable examples here; we hope you'll add your own picks to the Letters section.


The final installment of this series, covering 2005-2010, will run next Friday.

Matt Zoller Seitz

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