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Synopsis: Available May 22nd Only!

Desert One, directed by two-time Academy Award-winning filmmaker Barbara Kopple reveals the true story behind one of the most daring rescues in modern US history: a secret mission to free hostages captured during the 1979 Iranian revolution. It has been called “the most audacious, difficult, complicated, rescue mission ever attempted.” Kopple discovers a wealth of unearthed archival sources and receives unprecedented access, engaging in intimate conversations with many of the soldiers closest to the story, some for the first time, as well as President Jimmy Carter, Vice President Walter Mondale and key players on the Iranian side of the story. At a moment when tensions once again are rising between the governments of Iran and the U.S., old wounds remain painfully current for many on each side who detail their recollections in Desert One — but talk of hope also emerges, that the lessons of the past might finally guide us to a better future.


English, Farsi

Run Time

108 minutes


President Jimmy Carter
Vice-President Walter Mondale
Ted Koppel
Kevin Hermening, Hostage, U.S. Embassy Marine Guard
John Limbert, Hostage, U.S. Foreign Service
Mahmoud Abedini, Iranian witness

Directed by

Barbara Kopple

Executive Producer

for A&E/HISTORY- Zachary G. Behr
for A&E/HISTORY - Eli Lehrer

Produced by

Barbara Kopple
David Cassidy
Eric Forman

Edited by

Francisco Bello
Fabian Caballero

Director's Statement

Many of my films have touched on wars and those who fight them. But there was something special about these “special operations” warriors I came to know making Desert One. I was touched to be able to get to know another side of them I had never seen, and it changed me. They got real and surprisingly emotional with me. I will never forget the very personal conversations we had as they sat down to interview, telling me their own piece of a bigger story that clearly matters very much to them. Working with our very creative illustrator and animator, an Iranian, to bring to life moments of the mission that had previously only lived in memory…. Shooting with an Iranian crew, and having them film such interesting people in Iran. … This was a roller coaster ride of a story well worth telling.

Country of Origin

USA, Iran

Production Year


Official Website



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