Category: Films

The USA vs. Bergdahl

The only doc to access Bowe Bergdahl’s story

When Bowe Bergdahl infamously walked off his base in Afghanistan in 2009 he was captured by the Taliban and held for five years, tortured and kept in a tiny cage. But the nightmare only continued when he was freed by President Obama in exchange for five Taliban prisoners from Guantanamo. Arriving home, he was vilified in the media as a deserter who collaborated with the enemy. Donald Trump called for him to be shot as a “dirty rotten traitor”. So what is his side of the story? Film-maker Sean Langan gets exclusive access to Bowe Bergdahl and to his parents, presenting a moving story of a family caught in a storm of false allegations, and a soldier who made a mistake and paid a terrible price. Read more…

Watch ‘The USA vs. Bergdahl’ now

You can now watch and/or buy Sean Langans’ latest film ‘The USA vs. Bergdahl’ at Journeyman Pictures, on Amazon (dotcom), and via Vimeo.

*Note – ‘The USA vs. Bergdahl’ is the alternative title for the original BBC4 film ‘Coming Home: Bowe Bergdahl versus the United States’

New York Times

Bowe Bergdahl Recounts His Time in Captivity

“The New York Times obtained never-before-seen outtakes from the British filmmaker Sean Langan’s documentary, “Coming Home: Bowe Bergdahl vs. The United States”, from January 2016. It gives the public a chance to see Sergeant Bergdahl’s firsthand account of his captivity.”

Coming Home

Coming Home: Bowe Bergdahl vs the United States

Image from The Sunday Times

BBC Four, 9PM Monday 30th October, 2017

The story of the homecoming of US Army sergeant and former Taliban prisoner Bowe Bergdahl, after five years in captivity.

After walking off his post in Afghanistan in 2009, US Army sergeant Bowe Bergdahl was captured by the Taliban and held in captivity for five years. This documentary by the film-maker and former Taliban hostage Sean Langan, who gained exclusive access to the former POW and his family, gives a unique perspective on Sgt Bergdahl’s incredible story.

Film-maker Sean Langan was himself held captive for four months by the same group that captured Bowe Bergdahl. He too was locked in a dark cell, interrogated and put through mock executions. With his special insight, Langan gets exclusive access to Bowe Bergdahl and to his parents, Bob and Jani. He presents a moving story about a soldier who made a mistake but who then in captivity fought his captors hard and paid a terrible price, and about a family caught in a storm of false allegations and fake news. Bowe Bergdahl, Sean Langan discovers, was a man with serious psychological issues who became a political football in a deeply divided America.

Read and see more about Coming Home: Bowe Bergdahl vs the United States

BBC Storyville BBC Four

‘Coming Home: Bowe Bergdahl vs the United States’ receives it’s TV premier at 9PM Monday 30th October on BBC Four

The Sunday Times

You can read Sean Langan’s world exclusive article (The Homecoming From Hell) about his film ‘Coming Home: Bowe Bergdahl vs the United States’ in The Sunday Times on Sunday 29th October.

*Feature image (top of the page) from The Sunday Times.

2010: African Railway

28 April – New film ‘African Railway’ broadcast on BBC Four

“Stranded in the African bush when his train breaks down, journalist and film-maker Sean Langan watches as an elephant meanders past, just yards ahead. “Apparently, if you remain silent, they rarely stampede.” Cue a man noisily trying to kick-start the engine. The Chinese-built Tazara railway (AKA The Freedom Railway), running from Zambia to Tanzania, “once carried the hopes and dreams of post-independence Africa”, but is now in financial meltdown. Riding through spectacular scenery, Langan meets those struggling to keep it on track.” AJC / The Guardian

Read more about African Railway

2009: African Railway

October 2009 – Sean Langan begins work on BBC Four documentary about a railway line in Tanzania

“Thank God. I’m finally back in the land of the living, and back on the road, after a long absence spent staring into an abyss. After my release from Hotel Taliban last Summer I withdrew, mainly into the arms of my two boys, family and friends – but also, inadvertently, up my own arse/nose/bottle/youporn/ anything, infact, to not think about my three months in a dark room under threat of death by my Taliban captors. But after months of that realised I’d ended up in another prison of my own making, so stopped all of that and got back to life. Feels great. Have basked in the company of my children and got my life back on track. Now ready to start my romance with making documentary films again. But before I do, would just like to send a heart-felt thanks to all those who helped or who were worried about me during my ordeal, and apologies for not contacting you all. But extremely grateful nevertheless. About to start filming again. No war for me, at least not for a while anyway, and until my insurance premiums have come down and my boys grown up. BBC4 has commissioned me to make a documentary about a railway line in Tanzania; a slice of African-life, something heartwarming and heartfelt. And made me promise not to cross the border into Congo or Zimbabwe… if I’d cross a border into a dangerous place! Writing this from my hotel in Dar es Salam. Biggest danger I’ll face, apparently, are elephants on the railway track. Shouldn’t be a problem. I’m not in a hurry and happy to wait and watch the elephants go by. Feels great to be alive and in Africa – the cradle of humanity, and the birthplace of mine, and everyone else’s, original grandmother!” Sean Langan

Read more about the 2009 film African Railway