Review: Young 9/11 hero remembered in documentary ‘Man in Red Bandana’

Those with the fortitude to relive the events of the morning of 9/11 should find the documentary “Man in Red Bandana” a powerful and inspiring experience.

This brief film, from first-time writer-director Matthew J. Weiss, is a deeply moving tribute to Welles Remy Crowther, a young man credited with saving the lives of at least 12 people attempting to escape the crumbling World Trade Center buildings.

The story is as remarkable for the selfless actions of 24-year-old Crowther, an equities trader whose office was on the 104th floor of the South Tower, as for the fact that his deeds aren’t more widely known. (He has been posthumously feted via youth programs, artistic projects and sports activities as well as at 9/11 memorial sites.)


Using an array of archival footage and photos (some previously unseen), emotional interviews with Crowther’s family and friends, talks with 9/11 survivors, dramatic re-creations and solemn narration by Gwyneth Paltrow, Weiss etches a vivid portrait of the much-loved and admired Nyack, N.Y., native (and former teen volunteer firefighter), his role as an impromptu rescuer and how he lost his own life in the process.

The ways Crowther’s grieving mother worked to reconstruct the long-unknown events of her red bandana-wearing son’s heroic final hour are also stirringly recounted.


‘Man in Red Bandana’

Rating: PG-13, for thematic material involving disaster-related images and descriptions

Running time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Playing: Laemmle Music Hall, Beverly Hills; also on VOD

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