TIFF 2019: Our Review of ‘Desert One’

Posted in Festival Coverage, Film Festivals, Movies, Theatrical, TIFF 2019 by - September 11, 2019
TIFF 2019: Our Review of ‘Desert One’

There’s always another side of the story…

Desert One gives us the story that we don’t ever hear; it’s one that may have been a failure at first glimpse but it’s one that provided hope in the darkest of times.

It’s 1979 and tension between the United States and Iran are at a fever pitch.  When opposition to Mohammad Reza Shah’s corrupt, brutal, and American-supported leadership allowed the Islamic fundamentalist Ayatollah Khomeini to seize power, Khomeini’s followers captured the US embassy in Tehran and took dozens of employees and State Department officials as hostages.   This left then President Jimmy Carter with no good options and what emerged was a secret mission, what emerged was Desert One and the details are now being released for the first time.

Director Barbara Kopple returns to the festival with a solid ode to the heroic men who had the courage to try but it needed a little more emotional oomph to it for it to really resonate.

Kopple is a veteran hand and can obviously put together a solid film here but this feels a little too rote and like something that plays that you’d watch one evening on PBS rather than on the big screen.

It’s filled with details to be sure and it gets us emotionally connected to the one thing that this film is really all about.  Desert One is about the courage to actually TRY and do the right thing, when logic, politics and everything else in-between tells you different.

  • Release Date: 9/8/2019
This post was written by
David Voigt is a Toronto based writer with a problem and a passion for the moving image and all things cinema. Having moved from production to the critical side of the aisle for well over 10 years now at outlets like Examiner.com, Criticize This, Dork Shelf (Now That Shelf), to.Night Newspaper he’s been all across his city, the country and the continent in search of all the news and reviews that are fit to print from the world of cinema.
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