DESERT ONE directed by Barbara Kopple
DESERT ONE directed by Barbara Kopple

Greenwich Entertainment will release the HISTORY documentary “Desert One” directed by two-time Academy Award® winner Barbara Kopple (“Harlan County USA” and “American Dream”) that premiered to rave reviews at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival. The documentary film recounts the April 24/25, 1980 thrilling attempt to rescue 52 US citizens who were taken hostage by Iranian revolutionaries in Tehran. Following Greenwich’s theatrical release, “Desert One” will be broadcast on HISTORY.

The film includes a wealth of unearthed archival sources, as well as intimate interviews with President Jimmy Carter, Vice President Walter Mondale, Ted Koppel, former hostages, journalists, and Iranian student revolutionaries who orchestrated the take-over of the American Embassy in Tehran. Evocative new animation and never before heard satellite phone recordings of President Carter talking to his generals as the mission unfolds, bring audiences closer than anyone has ever gotten to being on the inside for this history making operation.

“This was a roller coaster ride of a story well worth telling,” said director Barbara Kopple, “with important moments about American leadership and gumption and relations with Iran and courage in the face of adversity. I believe it’s a film that could help inspire us in our troubled times. We need a lot of inspiration right now.”

“Desert One” is the story of Americans working together to overcome the most difficult problem of their lives. When radical Islamists take fifty-two American diplomats and citizens hostage inside Iran, Carter secretly green-lights the training for a rescue mission. America’s Special Forces soldiers also find themselves in uncharted territory, planning a top-secret rescue of unprecedented scale and complexity. Driven by deep empathy toward the kidnapped Americans, the heart-pounding and unforeseen events the rescue team participated in will forever unite them.

The film also presents Iranian perspectives on this important moment in their history. A female Iranian crew filmed overlooked accounts inside that country, one from a man who had been an 11-year-old boy riding a bus through the desert on the night of the mission. As tensions once again rise between the governments of Iran and the U.S., old wounds remain painfully current for many who poignantly detail their recollections in “Desert One.”

To commemorate the 40th Anniversary of OPERATION EAGLE CLAW, Cabin Creek Films, HISTORY, and Greenwich Films are holding a virtual screening of “Desert One” for select members of the Special Operations Warrior Foundation (SOWF) community.

On 24 April 1980, a battlefield promise was made to 17 American children. They were left fatherless when 8 Airmen and Marines made the ultimate sacrifice at a remote landing strip called “Desert One” in the failed attempt to rescue 52 American hostages in Iran. The surviving members of Operation Eagle Claw, those who had the guts to try, promised those 17 children that they would be taken care of. 40 years later, that promise transformed into the Special Operations Warrior Foundation (SOWF).

Today, if a US Special Operations Warrior makes the ultimate sacrifice, SOWF fulfills its solemn promise to fund surviving children’s education from “cradle to career. Today, SOWF supports more than 890 children and students across the nation.

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