About IDFA
IDFA 2009


Greg Barker
United States, England
94 min
Festival history
When a terrorist attack blew up the United Nations Headquarters in Bagdad on August 19, 2003, it not only spelled the end of the UN mission in Iraq, but also took the life of 55-year-old Sergio Vieira de Mello, the Secretary-General's Special Representative. Iraq became the very last assignment for this charming conflict negotiator, who was known as a cross between James Bond and Bobby Kennedy. is a portrait of this idealistic man's professional and personal life. It also offers insight into how the UN became a target for Muslim extremists. Archive footage, interviews, grainy dramatized scenes, sedate music, and images of Sergio's beloved Atlantic Ocean combine to reconstruct the final hours of his life. In addition to interviewing Tony Blair, Condoleezza Rice, Richard Holbrooke and Paul Bremer, the filmmakers also spoke with his closest colleagues, his bodyguard, his girlfriend, his mother, and a member of Al-Qaeda. The stories of the rescue workers are horrifying, as is that of Gil Loescher, the man who was sitting across from Sergio when the bomb exploded. is based on Vieira de Mello's biography by former Obama advisor Samantha Power, who is also interviewed in the film. It won the Documentary Film Editing Award at the Sundance Film Festival.
Screening copy
    Chasing the Flame, LLC
    Chasing the Flame, LLC
World Sales
    Passion Pictures
    Passion Pictures