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Wednesday 15 November 2023

Flight 149 - Coming to Sky Documentaries

Sky Documentaries has officially greenlit the production of the documentary feature titled Flight 149 (working title), a Sky Original film set to be crafted by Drum Studios. This in-depth exploration will delve into a pivotal moment in British political history when the passengers of BA Flight 149 found themselves in the clutches of hostage-taking.

The documentary will unfold the events of August 2, 1990, when Iraq's invasion of Kuwait caught the world off guard. The scheduled stop of BA Flight 149 in Kuwait City, with over 385 passengers on board, takes an ominous turn as the city falls under occupation. Saddam Hussein declares the passengers as his 'guests,' forbidding them from leaving and using them as human shields in military and chemical plants across Iraq, triggering an international crisis.

As the hostages endure near-starvation, mock executions, rape, and constant fear during their five-month captivity, the documentary will unravel a tense hostage story that coincides with a pivotal moment in geopolitical history, reshaping the West's relationship with the Middle East. The hostages become entangled with a ruthless dictator, a plane filled with spies, a British government cover-up, and even unexpected involvement from Richard Branson.

Three decades later, a group of these hostages seeks justice and truth, taking the British government and BA to court. The film will address questions surrounding why the plane was allowed to land, the secrets the British government aims to conceal, and whether the survivors will ever find closure to their traumatic ordeal.

Flight 149 will feature testimonies from various perspectives, including the hostages, politicians from both sides of the Atlantic, and the individuals from the Kuwaiti resistance who risked their lives to protect the hostages. For the first time, insights from individuals who knew Saddam Hussein will provide a unique perspective on the dictator's psychology during this critical moment in his relationship with the West.

Andy Holland, Head of Drum Studios, expressed enthusiasm about working on this significant story, emphasizing the studio's commitment to creating compelling films with emotional weight. Poppy Dixon, Director of Documentaries and Factual at Sky UK, anticipates that the film, helmed by filmmaker Jenny Ash and the Drum team, will do justice to the untold and harrowing experiences of those involved in the crisis, promising a powerful and thought-provoking narrative.

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