‘Desert One’ Trailer Offers First Look at Barbara Kopple’s Latest Doc


By Pat Mullen

Get your first look at Barbara Kopple’s latest masterwork, Desert One. The two-time Oscar winner (Harlan County, USA, American Dream) is back with this gripping account of an attempted rescue mission during the Iranian Hostage Crisis. The film recounts a covert mission by U.S. Special Forces under the Carter Administration who sought to free the American hostages held in Iran. Kopple’s film assembles all the surviving players, including President Jimmy Carter, to share their experiences with the ordeal. Notably, Desert One features perspectives from both the American and the Iranian sides of the hostage crisis to convey the global impact of the event. Carter’s perspective in the film is especially valuable and a welcome reminder of American diplomacy in the White House at its finest.


Desert One premiered at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival to great acclaim. “It’s a true document that keeps the story of the Desert One mission alive for generations of Americans who grew up after the hostage crisis and mostly know the event through the thrilling escapism Argo,” I wrote while reviewing the film at TIFF. “Desert One showcases a filmmaker at the top of her game: it’s a firm reminder of why I consider Kopple the best voice in documentary today.”

Desert One opens in theatres August 21 from Greenwich Entertainment. Watch the first trailer for the film below: