Director Dan Reed, a tall, bald-headed Brit, landed in Nairobi soon after the attack. He’d already made two other documentaries on urban terrorism—Terror in Mumbai and Terror in Moscow—and was certain he could track down the security footage he had seen bits of on CNN. Within a month, he had thousands of hours of film in his hands, acquired using methods he prefers not to share.
“Making it kind of broke my heart,” Reed says. The footage is so powerful, yet the security camera’s viewpoint is so indifferent, and he feared the combination of the two. “There’s something really horrific about watching a mechanical recording of such an event and that chilled me to the bones, really. That’s something that will stay with me for a long time.”