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The Anthrax Attacks: In the Shadow of 9/11 review – a gruesome story

August 31, 2022

The Netflix documentary The Anthrax Attacks: In the Shadow of 9/11 will be released on the streaming service on September 9, 2022.

From Oscar-nominated director Dan Krauss (Extremis, The Kill Team) and BBC Studios comes the incredible true story of the 2001 anthrax attacks on the United States in the days after 9/11. This documentary follows the extensive and incredible forensic investigation that followed, eventually closing the case in 2010. Streaming on Netflix, The Anthrax Attacks: In the Shadow of 9/11 has a running time of 102 minutes and is a documentary that you need to add to your watch list.

A week after 9/11, a series of letters containing anthrax killed five people and at least seventeen people became seriously ill, and it is safe to say that others were affected. This is one of the most complex investigations in the history of the FBI and US law enforcement. After letters containing anthrax spores were sent to news outlets and Democratic Senators Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy, panic ensued as many feared it was a follow-up to the 9/11 attacks , but we quickly learn that the anthrax attack must have come from someone in the US, as the strain used is in a US lab. Now the hunt begins.

After the 2020 pandemic, multiple conspiracy theories circulate about how Covid-19 was created and how it was able to spread so widely across the world, and prompting the questions, was it chemical warfare or luck? for pharmaceutical companies to make money? There is a similar feel to this documentary. It has a scientific insight into how anthrax poisoning was a biological attack, which can certainly spark the interest and fear of its viewers. All I can hear and see in this documentary is fear; vaccines, hazmat suits, terrorists, pandemic, fear, cover-up, obsession, and what does that make you think of – the last two years of our lives. And the main result is that those responsible should have done better. Are we really learning from the past?

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Through interviews, scripted re-enactments and footage from 2001, we hear the heartbreaking stories of investigators, survivors, friends and families of those infected, and their personal thoughts, opinions and honest feelings about the events.

Clark Gregg stars as Dr. Bruce Ivins, which is a wonderful addition to this documentary. His acting skills are second to none, brilliant and he really brings Dr. Ivins’ words to life. It’s worth noting that all scripted scenes are based on actual FBI field notes. These reconstructed scenes give this documentary the dimension and quality of a feature film, very close to the Chernobyl series.

After the most thorough investigation, this investigation turned into a nightmare – and they played the blame game, until authorities finally found evidence potentially tracing anthrax to Dr. Ivin’s lab. Then, one of the main conclusions/opinions is that Dr. Ivins sent the letters filled with Antrax because he feared that his life’s research was coming to an end. Of course, after these, attacks of money and notoriety fell on him and his research. Eventually, Dr. Ivins committed suicide. Was it because he was being aggressively pursued by the FBI or because he was the author and was afraid of going to prison? That’s a question I’ll let you answer once you’ve watched and come to your own conclusions.

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Overall, I really liked this documentary film. A topic of conversation, and the topic got me thinking about recent events and our future with the War on Terror. The political pressure to fix this and the lack of evidence makes me question the conclusion, and once I finished this documentary, I felt sorry for everyone involved, including Dr. Ivins, and I can’t help wondering, what’s next?

What did you think of the Netflix documentary The Anthrax Attacks: In the Shadow of 9/11? Comments below.

You can watch this documentary with a Netflix subscription.

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