Sunday, September 8, 2013

Out Of The Clear Blue Sky

Director Danielle Gardner’s Out Of The Clear Blue Sky is a haunting documentary on Cantor Fitzgerald, the biggest bond trader on September 11, 2001, with 960 employees on floors 101 to 104 of the North Tower of the World Trade Center.   

That day, 658 of them died, making the company's toll the biggest from any organization, fully 22% of the nearly 3,000 killed in the attack.

This horror was compounded by the fact that, starting immediately, the survivors had to try to keep the company afloat with their offices and equipment gone, whole departments gone and spirits lower than could possibly be imagined.
The film traces the ups and downs of the suffering families and the survivors from then until now, including the heroic efforts of CEO Howard Lutnick, who had to restructure the company, attend as many of the 658 funerals as he could, design a plan for helping the survivors and fight off trash media pundits like Bill O’Reilly, who, without facts, didn’t think the company was working fast enough to help the victims' families.

Having lived through the experience myself, the film was not fun to watch, but it was well edited and truly informative.  It is, also, a must see for HR executives to learn how to create a sense of “family” within a corporate environment, a lesson Lutnick and his team had to invent on the fly. 

I give Out Of The Clear Blue Sky a 4 out of 5.

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