UNA-NY Screening the Issues


Please join us for this one night screening followed by
a discussion with Dr. Jamal Benomar,
Chef de Cabinet to the President of the UN General Assembly

Friday, July 30, 2010
6:30 - 7:00 p.m. Reception w/Cash Bar
Screening begins promptly at 7:00 p.m.

The Tribeca Grand Hotel
2 Avenue of the Americas (between White and Walker Streets)
New York, NY

This film screening is now SOLD OUT.
However, a waiting list is available, and if you would like to add your name, please contact info@unanyc.org.

Based on Pulitzer Prize-winning author Samantha Power's biography Chasing the Flame, and nominated for a Primetime Emmy for Exceptional Merit (Nonfiction Filmmaking), SERGIO revolves around the story of Sergio Vieira de Mello, who was appointed by former Secretary-General Kofi Annan in 2003 to lead what was ultimately a flawed UN mission to Iraq shortly after the invasion. Sergio, who worked for the United Nations for 35 years, was at heart an idealist who devoted his life to the simple belief that people the world over have a basic right to live their lives with dignity. He didn't want the Iraq job and had opposed the war to begin with, but Sergio arrived in Baghdad accompanied by his "A Team"—the best and brightest experts the UN had to offer—and his colleague and fiancée, Carolina, whom he'd met in East Timor.

Sergio assumed that the Bush Administration, having prevailed upon him to go to Iraq, actually wanted his advice, and he set about trying to end the occupation as soon as possible. Instead, he found himself accused by the growing insurgency of being a tool of the Americans... and on August 19, 2003, Sergio himself became a target. A huge truck bomb exploded directly beneath his office, instantly killing many UN employees, including members of his own "A Team." But Sergio himself was alive.

As Carolina searched desperately through the rubble, two American firefighters from the Army Reserves selflessly climbed into the claustrophobic tomb of the collapsed building, in what would become an intense and desperate struggle to survive. At the bottom of a deep, narrow shaft the two soldiers found Sergio. For all the lives he had saved across his long and extraordinary career, his own was now entirely in the hands of these two unforgettable men...

After the screening, Dr. Jamal Benomar, who appears in the film and was Sergio's political advisor at the time in Iraq, will lead a discussion about Sergio's life and what it's like to devote your life to being an international civil servant. Dr. Benomar is currently the Chef de Cabinet of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in the Office of the President of the General Assembly.

In 1999, the United Nations Association of New York honored Sergio Vieira de Mello with its Humanitarian of the Year Award.

"In a wonderful and entirely unexpected way, it's an optimistic film about the enduring strength of the human spirit even in the face of the most dire circumstances." — Greg Barker, director of SERGIO

"... explores his United Nations career, telling of the ways he found of putting his idealism to work effectively in some of the world's most intractable conflict zones..." — John F. Burns, New York Times

More on Samantha Power's book Chasing the Flame: Sergio Vieira de Mello and the Fight to Save the World

Interview with Greg Barker, director of SERGIO

UNA-NY is grateful for the generosity of the Tribeca Grand Hotel, for allowing our organization the use of their state of the art screening room for our film-talk series, Screening the Issues.

Nearest subway stations to access the Tribeca Grand Hotel area:
Canal Street station: A, E, C trains
Franklin Street station: No. 1 train

Also close, but requires a little walk:
Canal Street Station station: N, Q, R, W trains

View the Tribeca Grand Hotel neighborhood map and more directions