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‘We Go Higher’ tells the story of the 3,051 kids who lost parents on 9/11


Spencer Platt | GettyImages North America | AFP

Matthew Becklo - published on 06/09/17

A more personal and generational approach to the narrative of a historic and tragic day.

If you’re an American who was old enough to form memories in 2001, chances are you remember exactly where you were and what you were doing on September 11.

But for 3,051 kids, that day left an indelible mark on more than their country or their memory – it left its mark on their family.

Women Rising, the production company behind A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story, has announced a fascinating project called We Go Higher: A Documentary of Hope from the 9/11 Kids. While other documentaries about September 11 have focused on the exact unfolding of events, the stories of the victims, and the cultural and political consequences of the attacks, We Go Higher takes a more personal and generational approach, focusing on the children who lost their parents that day and how they found hope.

Variety reports:

Delaney Colaio – who lost her father Mark and two uncles, Stephen and Thomas, at the age of three – will serve as a co-writer and co-director on the project. Production is scheduled to begin in July with distribution planned for 2018. ‘I’ve always been defined by 9/11,’ Colaio said. ‘I feel grateful that this film will give me the opportunity to give my pain a sense of purpose while also sharing what this tragedy has taught me and other children. We all grieve differently, but this film will show how you can reach a sense of hope through loss.’ ‘We Go Higher’ will follow Colaio’s story and five others that will explore the unique journeys to rise above and bring strength, love, and peace to those around them.

This sounds like an inspiring and important story, and the man behind the camera is well-equipped to tell it. Michael Campo has written and/or co-directed some of the most moving and spiritually impactful documentaries of the last decade (The Human Experience, Child 31, Outcasts). His films take an unflinching look at human suffering, but in the process, always manage to unearth the joy and beauty of humble acts of faith, hope, and love.

Proceeds from the film will benefit Tuesday’s Children, a response and recovery organization that supports youth, families, and communities impacted by terrorism and traumatic loss. Sara Hirsch Bordo, founder and CEO of Women Rising, notes that the film itself will hopefully be a resource for recovery for anyone going through loss.

“‘We Go Higher’ aims to be a tool for recovery and will work to inspire a new and renewed sense of hope and unity,” Bordo said. “Delaney’s bravery and the bravery of the kids to step forward and cast a new light on darkness in a positive way, represents the strength of a new kind of American hero.”


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