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Barbara Kopple Doc for The HISTORY Channel


Director Barbara Kopple’s documentary film Desert One, recounting the failed 1980 rescue attempt of American hostages in Iran, is set to premiere on The HISTORY Channel.

In Desert One, the Academy Award-winning director uses a wealth of unearthed archival sources and intimate conversations with those closest to the story to bring viewers inside the operation. It is slated to debut on September 12 at 8 p.m.

The film will feature interviews with senior members of the Carter administration, including President Jimmy Carter himself, journalist Ted Koppel, former hostages, members of the Delta Force team involved in the attempt, Iranian hostage-takers and Iranian witnesses to the rescue attempt. One new account of the event comes from an Iranian witness who was only 11 at the time and was detained with his family by American soldiers on the night of the mission.

Kopple said, “It was touching and revelatory for me to find another side of these specials ops soldiers and Iranians that we don’t often see, to sit down for such personal conversations with so many about a story that still clearly matters very much to them.”

An Iranian crew was brought on for original filming inside the country. Kopple, David Cassidy and Eric Forman produced Desert One, with Eli Lehrer and Zachary G. Behr executive producing for The HISTORY Channel.

About Jamie Stalcup

Jamie Stalcup is the associate editor of World Screen. She can be reached at


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