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About the Film
the Characters
Richard Clarke
Richard Clarke

For thirty years Richard Clarke has been a central figure in the U.S. federal government, serving seven presidential administrations and acting as a key advisor on national security issues to four presidents: Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush. Mr. Clarke served the last three Presidents as a senior White House Advisor. He was an especially integral member of the George W. Bush administration when, because of his expertise, he was appointed special assistant to the president following the terrorist attacks on Washington, D.C., and New York City on September 11, 2001.


Prior to his White House years, Mr. Clarke served 19 years in the Pentagon, the Intelligence Community, and State Department. During the Reagan Administration, he was Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence. During the Bush Administration, he was Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs and coordinated diplomatic efforts to support the 1990–1991 Gulf War and subsequent security arrangements. Over the course of an unprecedented 11 consecutive years of White House service, he held the titles of:

  • Special Assistant to the President for Global Affairs
  • National Coordinator for Security and Counterterrorism
  • Special Advisor to the President for Cyber Security


Despite being such a high-profile figure in Washington, D.C., Clarke maintained a low personal profile. That changed in March of 2004 when he released the tell-all book, Against All Enemies: Inside America's War on Terror. In the book, in subsequent interviews, and in testimony before the 9-11 Commission Clarke openly blasted President Bush for his mismanagement of the investigation of the September 11 attacks. Overnight, Clarke became a media celebrity; he also became the target of criticism. The American public wondered if Richard Clarke was a heroic whistle-blower or a disgruntled government official who was simply clouding the facts.


Clarke claims that since the beginning of his administration President Bush and his team ignored warnings that al-Qaeda and bin Laden were serious threats. In fact, he asserts that before leaving office Sandy Berger, the National Security Advisor under Bill Clinton, specifically briefed Condoleezza Rice that bin Laden had to be carefully watched. In January 2001 Clarke presented a briefing to Rice outlining a strategy to "deter, defeat, and respond vigorously" to al-Qaeda, but it was dismissed. In the summer of 2001, Clarke claims that he continued to file numerous intelligence reports predicting an imminent attack by bin Laden, but the reports were never acted upon. Basically, according to Newsweek, Clarke charged the Bush administration of being "half-asleep when the terrorist threats began spiking."


On March 24 and 25, 2004, Clarke provided nearly twenty hours of testimony before the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States. The group, also known as the 9-11 Commission, was composed of ten government officials charged with investigating the events of September 11, 2001, including how well the U.S. government prepared for and responded to the attacks. They were also asked to make recommendations on how to better guard against future attacks.


Again, in no uncertain terms, Clarke accused the federal government of failing to protect American citizens against terrorism. According to U.S. News … World Report, his testimony was "one of the most riveting episodes of political theater in recent years." Clarke's opening statement, in particular, "sent chills throughout the room." The families of victims of 9-11 were present, and when Clarke addressed them he poignantly declared:

"Your government failed you. Those entrusted with protecting you failed you. And I failed you. We tried hard, but that doesn't matter because we failed. And for that failure, I would ask, once all the facts are out, for your understanding and for your forgiveness."


Clarke himself continued to make an impact throughout the rest of 2004, appearing on countless news programs, including Larry King Live on CNN and ABC's Good Morning America. His book Against All Enemies was an international bestseller, and reached number one on the New York Times Bestseller List . His first novels, The Scorpion’s Gate and Breakpoint, were also bestsellers. He served as an on-air consultant for ABC News and formed his own security consulting service called Good Harbor.


Clarke tackled his new roles with the same ferocity and focus that he exhibited while working for the U.S. government. And he remained unfazed by the many accusations against him. Clarke commented to Romesh Rotnesar of Time, "It pains me to have Condoleezza Rice and the others mad at me, but I think the American people needed to know the facts, and they weren't out. And now they are." 

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Wendy Chamberlin
Wendy Chamberlin
Former Ambassador to Pakistan (2001 – 2002)

Wendy Chamberlin is a career Foreign Service Officer who joined the State Department in 1975. Her Middle Eastern and South Asian experience includes a tour as political/military officer in the Office of Israel and Arab-Israeli Affairs, Acting Director of Regional Affairs, Director of Press and Public Affairs in the Near Eastern Affairs Bureau, and as Special Assistant for South Asian Affairs to the Under Secretary for Political Affairs. Ms. Chamberlin's White House experience includes an appointment as Director for Counter-terrorism Affairs at the National Security Council (NSC) under President George W. Bush.

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Chief William Bratton
Chief William Bratton
Los Angeles Police Department

Chief William Bratton is in charge of the second largest police force in the U.S. and has been instrumental in developing new methods of communication between the Federal Intelligence agencies and local law enforcement outfits. Under his leadership the LAPD has become a leader in metropolitan homeland security and counter-terrorism efforts.

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James Dobbins
James Dobbins
First Special Envoy for Afghanistan

James Dobbins has served as the Assistant Secretary of State for Europe; the Special Assistant to the President for the Western Hemisphere; the Special Adviser to the President and Secretary of State for the Balkans; the Ambassador to the European Community; the Clinton administration's Special Envoy for Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, and Kosovo. He is currently the Director, International Security and Defense Policy Center - RAND National Security Research Division.

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Juliette Kayyem
Juliette Kayyem
Undersecretary for Homeland Security Massachusetts

Juliette Kayyem is a former trial lawyer and legal policy adviser to the U.S. Department of Justice and National Commission on Terrorism. She recently lectured at the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government. Ms, Kayyem served as former House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt's appointee to the National Commission on Terrorism, a congressionally mandated review of how the government could better prepare for the growing terrorist threat. Chaired by L. Paul Bremer, that Commission's recommendations in the year 2000 urged the nation to recognize and adapt to the growing tide of terrorist activity against the United States.

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Mark Lowenthal
Mark Lowenthal
CIA (2002 – 2005)

Dr. Mark Lowenthal is former Assistant Director of Central Intelligence for Analysis and Production (2002-2005) and former Vice Chairman for Evaluation on the National Intelligence Council. Previously he was staff director of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (1995-97), where he directed the committee's study on the future of the Intelligence Community, IC21: The Intelligence Community in the 21st Century. His book Intelligence: From Secrets to Policy has become a standard undergraduate and graduate text. He is currently the President and CEO of the Intelligence & Security Academy, LLC.

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Bruce Reidel
Bruce Reidel
CIA (1977 – 1991), NSC (2001 – 2002)

A former CIA officer, Bruce Riedel focuses on political transition, terrorism and conflict resolution. He was a senior advisor to three U.S. presidents on Middle East and South Asian issues. He is currently the Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution.

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the Board
Walter Rodgers
Walter Rodgers
Former CNN Sr. International Correspondent, London

For nearly 40 years Walter Rodgers was a broadcast journalist for ABC News, CNN and the Associated Press. Rodgers was perhaps the most prominent of the embedded journalists during the 2003 invasion of Iraq, with the U.S. Army's 7th Cavalry Apache Troop as they marched into Baghdad, chronicled in his book "Sleeping with Custer and the 7th Cavalry: An Embedded Reporter in Iraq".

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Carlo Boccia
Carlo Boccia
Former Director of Boston Office of Homeland Security

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Major General Paul Eaton
Major General Paul Eaton
Ret. US Army

General Eaton was a part of the "Revolt of the Generals" He was assigned to Iraq as Commanding General of the Coalition Military Assistance Training Team (CMATT), where he was in charge of training the Iraqi military from 2003 to 2004. Upon return to the US he was Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Training, United States Army Training and Doctrine Command.

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The Team
Michèle Ohayon – Director/Producer

Michèle Ohayon is an award winning director, writer and producer. Born in Casablanca and raised in Israel, where she graduated with a Film & Television degree from Tel Aviv Univeristy, she moved to Los Angeles in 1987 and directed a succession of critically acclaimed documentary features: IT WAS A WONDERFUL LIFE (PBS, 1987), narrated by Jodie Foster and won the Gold Award at the Houston Film Festival and an IDA nomination.

COLORS STRAIGHT UP (1997), received nominations for the 1997 Academy Award® for Best Documentary Feature, the DGA's Outstanding Directorial Achievement, the IFP Spirit Award, and the Golden Spirit Award for the Arts at the San Francisco International Film Festival, as well as 11 national awards. COLORS STRAIGHT UP aired on PBS and all over the world. COWBOY DEL AMOR (SHOWTIME, 2005), is WGA and IDA nominated and won both Jury and Audience Awards at SXSW festival, as well as Best documentary at Santa Fe, Durango and Cinefest.

In 2007, Michèle completed the feature documentary STEAL A PENCIL FOR ME, which screened at the United Nations and garnered the Audience Award at Sonoma Film Festival and the Yad Vashem Chairman Award at the Jerusalem Film Festival. The film (PBS) was also honored at the Spirit of Anne Frank Awards and nominated for the IDA ABC/Video source award in 2007 and continues to receive awards and accolades today.

For her body of work, Michèle received the 1996 and the 1998 Artist's Grant from the Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department and was recognized for her fiction writing in the Chesterfield Writing Competition 2000. S•O•S: STATE OF SECURITY is Michele's fifth feature documentary

Michèle is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as well as a member of the Writer's Guild of America (WGA) and the Producer's Guild of America (PGA). She is a founding board member of Cinewomen. Her goal as filmmaker is to tell good, truthful stories about real people and to make films that open hearts and minds.

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Theo Van de Sande, ASC – Director of Photography

Theo Van de Sande graduated from the Dutch Film Academy and worked as a director of photography in the Netherlands until THE ASSAULT was the first Dutch film to win the Academy Award® for Best Foreign-Language Film in 1987. He then moved to the USA where he has shot more than 50 feature films, 9 feature documentaries and over 40 shorts, TV series, music shows and commercials.

In Holland, Theo received the Golden Calf for Best Cinematography twice, in 1972 and in 1978. It is the highest award bestowed upon a DP in The Netherlands.

Theo's work includes THE ASSAULT, which received the Academy Award® and Golden Globe for Best Foreign-Language Film, COLORS STRAIGHT UP, a feature-length documentary nominated in 1997 for the Academy Award®, DGA Award, and Independent Spirit Award, and THE POINTSMAN, which won the prize for Best Cinematography at the Madrid Film Festival.

In the United States Theo has worked with a variety of film directors, among them: Robert Wise, Gary Marshall, Joan Micklin Silver, Lasse Hallstrom, Mick, Jackson, and Carl Franklin. Theo's first 3D film THE HOLE by Joe Dante, got the first ever 3-D Award (Persol) for the Best 3-D Stereoscopic Film of the Year in August 2009 at the Venice Film Festival.

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Edgar Burcksen – Editor

Edgar Burcksen, A.C.E. moved to California after a successful career in The Netherlands as a feature film editor with more than 15 features and a Dutch Film Festival Award for his body of work to his credit. ILM hired him to become the visual effects editor on The HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER and DIE HARD 2  and for George Lucas, he edited THE YOUNG INDIANA JONES CHRONICLES and received an Emmy for best editing. After the became editor and postproduction supervisor on 500 NATIONS, an 8-hour documentary miniseries about Native Americans hosted and produced by Kevin Costner.

He edited COLORS STRAIGHT UP, which was nominated for best feature length documentary at the Academy Awards®.  He was nominated for an Eddie Award for Best Edited Documentary in 2008 for DAFUR NOW.  Edgar Burcksen is since 2001 the Editor in Chief of Cinema Editor, the official magazine of ACE.

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Joseph Julian Gonzalez – Composer

Hailing from the rural town of Bakersfield in California’s San Joaquin Valley, Joseph studied classical guitar from Theodore Norman and composition for motion picture and television from famed film composer David Raksin (LAURA, FOREVER AMBER) at UCLA.  After touring with several groups including The New Christy Minstrels, Joseph became music director of Luis Valdez’s (LA BAMBA, ZOOT SUIT) much heralded theater company El Teatro Campesino.  There he composed the music score for LA PASTORELA, a PBS Great Performances Christmas special, and worked with such artists as Linda Rondstadt, Freddy Fender and Los Lobos.

Since then he has composed a multitude of musical scores for film, television shows and documentaries including the Academy Award-nominated feature documentary COLORS STRAIGHT UP, the New Line Cinema feature film PRICE OF GLORY, and Miramax’s CURDLED. Joseph most recently completed scoring three seasons of Showtime’s award winning RESURRECTION BLVD. Joseph is presently working with famed documentarian Hector Galan on a three-part miniseries for PBS,VISIONES, about Latino art and culture and was reunited with Michèle Ohayon on COWBOY DEL AMOR and STEAL A PENCIL FOR ME.

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Gary Prebula – Producer

Gary Prebula attended the Wharton School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania and Annenberg School for Communication and USC School of Cinema before helping launch the HBO Network. Since then, his career has included service as Special Editions Editor of The Hollywood Reporter and an executive at On TV, Z Channel, and Columbia Pictures. Prebula also founded Panda Video, where he created hundreds of hours of Electronic Press Kits for television, before joining producer Dave Bell as a director of reality series pilots. In addition to CSULB, he has taught at the University of Pennsylvania, USC and AFI. He also is a member in good standing of the Directors Guild of America. He currently is running Good Harbor Media.

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Len Sherman – Producer

Len Sherman has been a producer, writer and correspondent in many parts of the world, including, among others, Irag, Haiti, El Salvador and the former Soviet Union. His documentary, ABANDON ALL HOPE: WELCOME TO AFGHANISTAN, shot one year before 9/11 in the mountains of northern Afghanistan, detailing the designs of Al Qaeda and the Taliban to attack the U.S., ran dozens of times on MSNBC in the months following 9/11.  In the spring of 2003, he produced REBUILDING IRAG: THE BATTLE AFTER THE WAR for MSNBC.  He has appeared as an expert witness on foreign affairs and terrorism on a wide range of shows, including OPRAH, GOOD MORNING AMERICA, THE O’REILLY FACTOR, etc.  He is just finishing another documentary, slated for distribution winter 2010, on controversial Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, entitled JOE’S LAW.

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Gary Ungar – Executive Producer

As a producer and personal manager, Gary Ungar has brought together international filmmaking talent with US studios and independent financiers. Ungar’s management clients, among them Guillermo Del Toro (PAN’S LABYRINTH) and Mathieu Kassovitz (GOTHIKA), work with an array of major studios, and their films have won Academy Awards®, Golden Globes, and awards of major festivals including Cannes and Sundance. Through his company, Exile Entertainment, Ungar served as executive producer on GOTHIKA for Warner Bros., and the independent feature MODIGLIANI. He is currently developing new projects through Kassovitz’s production company MNP and Del Toro’s overall producing deal with Universal Pictures.

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Screenings
Upcoming Screenings

S.O.S. will Screen at the Los Angeles Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for its members on Saturday, August 20th at 4PM
and
The film been selected by the International Documentary Association for its DocuWeeks Theatrical Showcase

S.O.S. will also be screened at the 30th Annual Vancouver International Film Festival on September 11, 2011


Theatrical Release

S.O.S will be released to the public on August 19th in Los Angeles and New York. (See below for showtimes)

Laemmlee Sunset 5
8000 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90046
     IFC Center
323 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10014
Fri 8/19 2:30 PM, 9:45 PM Fri 8/26 3:40 PM, 9:55 PM
Sat 8/20 2:45 PM, 7:20 PM * Sat 8/27 12:00 PM, 5:30 PM
Sun 8/21 2:30 PM, 9:45 PM Sun 8/28 1:50 PM, 7:35 PM
Mon 8/22 2:30 PM, 9:45 PM Mon 8/29 12:00 PM, 5:30 PM
Tue 8/23 2:45 PM, 7:20 PM Tue 8/30 1:50 PM, 7:35 PM **
Wed 8/24 2:30 PM, 9:45 PM Wed 8/31 1:45 PM, 7:30 PM
Thu 8/25 2:30 PM, 9:45 PM Thu 9/1 12 PM, 5:25 PM
Purchase Tickets
or call 310-478-3836
Purchase Tickets
or call 212-974-7771

* Q&A with Richard A. Clarke and filmmakers following the screening
** Q&A with the filmmakers following the screening



Bergen International Film Festival, Oct 20-27 2010, Bergen, Norway

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Sarajevo Film Festival, Jul 2010
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SOS at Sarajevo Film Festival, Michèle Ohayon, Morgan Freeman
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SOS at Sarajevo Film Festival, Michèle Ohayon, Morgan Freeman
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Sarajevo Film Festival Director Miro Purivatra, Michèle Ohayon, Morgan Freeman
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Netroots Nation Conference, Jul 2010

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Berlinale Film Festival, Feb 2010
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Berlin Film Festival February 2010, Gary Prebula, Michèle Ohayon, Berlin Festival Director Dieter Kosslick, Richard Clarke
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Richard Clarke, Michèle Ohayon, Dieter Kosslick
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Michèle Ohayon, Richard Clarke
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Berlin Film Festival February 2010, Michèle Ohayon
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Berlin Press Conference, Gary Prebula, Richard Clarke, Michèle Ohayon
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Richard Clarke
Hi-Res Version

 
 
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