Earnest, straightforward account of the impact of 9/11 in the South Asian communities of New York City makes up in dignity what it lacks in drama. Never shrill or overstated, “60 Minutes”-type assemblage of stories is stitched together by extremely personable on-screen narrator David Henry Hwang. At 69 minutes, competent advocacy piece produced by the Asian American Federation of New York should fit well on PBS and at educational and civic venues, although it never stretches beyond the conventional bounds of TV journalism.
First two segments deal with inequities in the government’s apportionment of funds for emergency relief to those whose incomes were decimated by 9/11. One presents an overview of the hard-hit garment industry in Chinatown, while the next follows one of hundreds of economically stranded cab drivers. More egregious, prejudicial acts form the subject of the third episode, focusing on Asian and Arab illegal aliens detained without cause and summarily deported. The fourth part examines the mental toll that the WTC disaster took on children at a nearby school. Finally, three Asian 9/11 victims of are fondly remembered by, respectively, a father, a mother and a wife.