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J ANU AR Y 9, 2013 12: 19 P M

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Meet the  2013  Sundance  Filmmakers  #8:  Greg Barker  Tracks  Down  Osama  bin  Laden's Hunters  in  'Manhunt' "Manhunt"  director  Greg  Barker  has  spent  much  of  his  life as  a  grown  man  overseas,  as  a  journalist  then  filmmaker. The  9/11  event  shifted  his  interest  largely  to  stories between  Islamic  fundamentalism  and  the  U.S. government.  He  was  pressed  to  ask  the  question  about

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what we  had  learned  on  the  eve  that  Osama  bin  Laden was  captured  and  killed  -­-­  not  just  about  our  enemy,  but about  our  own  nation.  If  "Zero  Dark  Thirty"  caught  your attention,  consider  "Manhunt"  essential  viewing. What  It's  About:  "A  tale  of  espionage  and  the  moral choices  of  war,  as  revealed  by  the  insiders  who  led  the CIA’s  secret  war  against  Al  Qaeda  and  the  hunt  for  Osama  bin  Laden." What  It's  REALLY  About:  "I  was  surprised  to  discover  that  many  of  the  bin  Laden  hunters,  from  the  mid-­90s onwards,  were  women.  The  broad  strokes  of  their  journey  are  incredible:  they  were  the  first  to  identify  bin  Laden  as  a threat,  back  in  the  mid-­90s,  they  warned  repeatedly  that  he  was  going  to  launch  a  huge  attack  on  America,  then  after 9/11  they  were  the  ones  who  were  blamed  for  letting  it  happen.  Some  were  dispirited,  and  some  later  died  in  the  fight -­-­  but  this  top-­secret  “Sisterhood”  formed  the  core  of  the  unit  that  ultimately  tracked  bin  Laden  to  Abbottabad." My  Biggest  Challenge:  "Access.  Most  of  the  characters  in  the  film  spent  their  professional  lives  working  in  the shadows  for  the  CIA.  Tracking  these  individuals  down,  building  their  trust,  and  convincing  them  to  tell  their  stories  on camera  was  a  long,  labor-­intensive  process  that  involved  face-­to-­face  meetings  around  the  world,  from  Washington DC  to  Jordan,  Pakistan,  Afghanistan  and  elsewhere.  The  CIA  had  no  approval  over  the  content  of  the  film,  though  the interviewees  themselves  had  to  make  sure  they  weren’t  revealing  any  classified  information.  In  several  cases, including  a  key  breakthrough  in  the  hunt  for  bin  Laden,  our  interviewees  were  able  to  get  information  cleared  to publicly  discuss  for  the  first  time." I  Want  You  To  Walk  Away  With  Questions:  "I’d  like people  get  a  sense  of  complicated,  morally  ambiguous journey  that  led  to  the  raid  on  Abbottabad.  Are  coercive interrogations  torture?  When,  if  ever,  is  it  OK  to  use  these techniques  against  a  terrorist?  What  moral  criteria  do  you employ  when  hunting  down  an  individual  for  a  kill/capture operation?  The  CIA  operatives  and  analysts  making these  choices  were  usually  not  trained  soldiers  -­  they were,  in  many  ways,  a  lot  like  the  rest  of  us.  I  hope  the film  presents  the  hunt  for  Bin  Laden  as  a  set  of choices...and  audiences  ask  themselves  what  they  would do  if  faced  with  those  choices  themselves." What  I  Shot  On:  Sony  F3.

"Manhunt"

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Up Next:  "I  have  a  narrative  feature  in  development  for  HBO  Films,  "A  Rope  and  Prayer,"  based  on  the  book  by  New York  Times  correspondent  David  Rhode  and  his  wife  Kristen  Mulvihill,  about  Rhode’s  seven-­month  captivity  in  the tribal  areas  of  Pakistan,  as  well  as  a  feature-­film  version  of  "Sergio,"  and  "Revolution,"  a  feature  documentary  about the  promise  and  perils  of  revolutions  in  the  internet  age." Indiewire  invited  Sundance  Film  Festival  directors  to  tell  us  about  their  films,  including  what  inspired  them, the  challenges  they  faced  and  what  they're  doing  next.  We'll  be  publishing  their  responses  leading  up  to  the 2013  festival. Keep  checking  HERE  every  day  up  to  the  launch  of  the  festival  on  January  17  for  the  latest  profiles.

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TAGS: Sundance  Film  Festival,  Festivals,  Meet  the  2013  Sundance  Filmmakers,  Manhunt

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Meet the 2013 Sundance Filmmakers #8: Greg Barker Tracks Down Osama bin Laden's Hunters in 'Manhunt'  

Indiewire talks with Greg Barker.

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