Meet Greg Barker director of SERGIO

Meet Greg Barker director of SERGIO, an official selection in the Documentary Competition at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.

DIRECTOR: Greg Barker
U.S.A., 2008, 94 min., color
Based on the biography Chasing the Flame by Samantha Power, Sergio is the story of the United Nation’s go-to guy. A cross between James Bond and Bobby Kennedy, Sergio Vieira de Mello could descend into the most dangerous places, charm the worst war criminals, and somehow protect the lives of the ordinary people to whom he’d devoted his life. After a string of doomed relationships, he was about to settle down finally with the woman he loved. And then came the call: another crisis, and Sergio was the only man for the job. Persuaded by Kofi Anaan, Condoleezza Rice, and Tony Blair, Sergio reluctantly took up his post as U.N. ambassador to Iraq.

On August 19, 2003, a bomb struck the U.N. headquarters in Baghdad, marking a watershed moment in history. For the first time, the U.N. had become the target of terrorism. The news shocked the world.

With visceral immediacy, filmmaker Greg Barker recreates the events of a day that will forever live in infamy. Harrowing testimony from Sergio’s fiancée and the military paramedics who risked their own lives to save him is interlaced with haunting footage shot on the day of the bombing and reenactments of the rescue attempt. Devastatingly powerful, Sergio paints a portrait of a man who gambled with his own life to restore dignity to the lives of others.

ExP: Samantha Power, Sheila Nevins, Nick Fraser Pr: John Battsek, Julie Goldman Ed: Karen Schmeer