One moment it was a bustling pizzeria filled with families and students; the next, a bloody melange of twisted metal, broken glass and bodies. After a young man carried an innocuous-looking guitar full of explosives, nails and bolts into the restaurant and detonated the bomb, lives changed forever.
Fifteen people were killed and dozens injured. Today, the survivors and families of victims are still living with the physical and emotional scars from that horrific day.
CNN Presents “Impact of Terror” goes beyond the headlines with an in-depth look at the Aug. 9, 2001, Sbarro restaurant bombing in Jerusalem to explore how the effects of terrorism radiate beyond the immediate act.
Film crews follow the survivors for years after the bombing to discover just how deeply their lives have been altered. “Impact of Terror,” a production of Associated Producers Ltd. in association with CNN Productions and Canadian Broadcast Corporation, will premiere Sunday, Sept. 19, at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. (ET) on CNN/US.
“This documentary brings a unique approach to understanding the effects of terrorism on civilians,” said Sid Bedingfield, senior vice president of CNN Productions. ìIt is not a political or moral discussion but rather a factual account based on years of diligently following the lives of victims.”
Award-winning documentary filmmaker Tim Wolochatiuk and producers Simcha Jacobovici and Ric Bienstock piece together images taken at the scene of the bombing, earlier photographs of the victims and first-person accounts of survivors, families, friends and medical personnel to create a compelling and disturbing recreation of that fateful day.
The morning of the bombing, Israeli Intelligence learned that a suicide bomber was somewhere in Jerusalem. Yet, despite their best efforts, they did not know when or where he would strike. Following are a few stories from the documentary:
… Best friends Malki Roth and Michal Raziel, two teenage girls, stopped at Sbarro that day for a slice of pizza before attending a youth meeting. As a result of that suicide bombing, they are buried beside one another in a Jerusalem cemetery.
… Fifteen-year-old Miriam Shushan and her 10-year-old sister, Yocheved, made it to the front of the line at the pizzeria when the bomber struck. The nails, nuts and bolts that tore into Miriamís body were enough to kill anyone. But it was her little sister who would die that day. The documentary reunites Miriam with the paramedic and doctor who saved her and helped her begin to rebuild her life.
… When Jerusalem firefighter Michel Amar arrived at the bombing site to help, he was shocked to see the burnt, empty stroller of his two-year old daughter, Gafnit. His eyes scanned the rubble, and he was horrified as he saw the body parts of other children strewn about. He frantically searched for his family and later found his wife, son and daughter at the hospital. They all survived with few injuries. The emotional damage, however, remains devastating.
Jennifer Hyde, director of development for CNN Productions, served as supervising producer of “Impact of Terror” for CNN. Hyde and Bedingfield are responsible for bringing this documentary to CNN.
“Impact of Terror” is scheduled to re-air Saturday, Sept. 25, at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. (ET)
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