Just days after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the United States found itself in the midst of another deadly attack: the release of letters containing deadly anthrax spores that were sent to various locations across the country.
Those letters, and the sprawling FBI investigation that attempted to find the perpetrators and bring them to justice, is the subject of a new Netflix movie that brings the story to light more than 20 years after Anthrax sent the country into a frenzy. If you have heard The Anthrax Attacks: In the Shadow of 9/11 and want to know more about it before you watch, stick around because we’re about to break down Netflix’s latest true crime documentary.
Between September 18 and October 12, 2001, several letters containing anthrax were sent through the United States Postal Service, injuring a total of 17 people and claiming five victims spread across Washington, DC, West Palm Beach , Florida, New York City and Oxford, Connecticut. The Anthrax Attacks: In the Shadow of 9/11 he wastes no time telling the story within his episode.
In addition to detailing the members of the media and politicians targeted by the attacks, the documentary also focuses on those caught in the crossfire, namely the USPS employees who handled and processed the tainted mail.
The Anthrax Attacks is a 95 minute documentary
Many of Netflix’s most recent true crime documentaries have been split into multiple episodes and have runtimes ranging from a couple of hours to six or more. However, that is not the case with The Anthrax Attacks: In the Shadow of 9/11 as it is a 95-minute documentary that can be easily started and finished in one sitting.
The documentary spends a great deal of time focusing on the FBI’s prime suspects.
The Anthrax Attacks: In the Shadow of 9/11 It doesn’t spend much time on the lead-up to the tainted letters or the actual attacks, but on the FBI’s years-long investigation into who manufactured the highly refined substance in a lab and why they would do it. Use it to wreak havoc on the country. The documentary features several sections that dive into the possible suspects, why the feds thought they were responsible, and how those investigations affected the various scientists attached to the case.
Clark Gregg appears in scripted segments
Just like the 2020 documentary. the societal dilemma, The Anthrax Attacks: In the Shadow of 9/11 makes use of scripted portions with well-known actors. This time, Clark Gregg, who played Agent Phil Coulson in numerous MCU movies, plays Dr. Bruce Ivins, a microbiologist and biodefense researcher who found himself at the center of the FBI’s sprawling investigation. Some of these segments are based on FBI transcripts, while others unfold as short monologues between sections of the documentary.
The documentary also includes interviews with FBI investigators and victims of the anthrax attacks.
Some of the scenes featuring Clark Gregg’s portrayal of Dr. Bruce Ivins are followed by interviews with the FBI investigators who handled the case all those years ago. In addition to that, there are interviews with several of the postal workers who worked at the Washington DC post office that became the epicenter of the attacks. Like the FBI interviews, these segments also shed light on the situation and how it changed their lives more than 20 years ago.
The Anthrax Attacks: In The Shadow Of 9/11 is rated TV-MA by language
As was the case with Untold: The Bride That Wasn’t and other Netflix documentaries in 2022, The Anthrax Attacks: In the Shadow of 9/11 it is rated TV-MA for the language. No one goes into swear-laden tirades, but there are a few choice words throughout the 95-minute runtime. The documentary also touches on death and suicide.
If you are interested in consulting The Anthrax Attacks: In the Shadow of 9/11 after reading this, streaming is available for those with a Netflix subscription.
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