This comment area is closed to new submissions. Visit ITVS.org to continue the conversation about this film.
Las Vegas, NV
I have never been more proud to be a Brazilian than when I read about this fabulous person that Sergio was. If I could compare figures of his stature,the other person Will be Paulo Freire. Thank for your lessons of humanty to the deepest meaning. Obrigada Sergio
Indeed its the only way I think anyone can do effective international work particularly with something as delicate as Human Rights issues. Transcending cultural differnces should not be about ignoring differences. Sergio knew about the people he was there to help and respected them and knew they needed to be involved in the process.
I look forward to seeing Independent Lens even though it scares me to watch. I am intimidated by the content and how strong my emotions are when I view IL. It always moves me into thinking and sometimes even acting differently. I am at the later part of my life. I am in my 50's so of course I am thinking about pursuing what I was born to do and that is more social activism, not only with community groups but also connecting with government institutions and possibly working within them for change is something I have thought about.........I see it as possible now...... I have thought about the UN as sometimes too neutral but watching this film its seems that Sergio was the UN face of stability and courage. I am glad I saw that he was likeable fluent, influential.
Sergio seemed to be a person who was respected by people from opposing views and yet he was able to assist people by getting them to the table and giving them voice ....Incredible in any environment but in his line of work challenging to say the least....
Through Sergio I see that the UN is not only an International bureacractic body but an orgainzation with hard working, principaled, educated and committed people.
I am so glad I was able to see this film......Thank you so very much...it was what I needed to see.....because regardless if you work in Goverenment or community passion, drive and vision are all very important and I think I almost forgot that, Thank You
The challenges of doing this film is of course languages, safety,costs,film content and I sure there are more that I cannot even imagine.........thanks for it all
Both during and after viewing EN ROUTE TO BAGHDAD, I was left with my mouth agape contemplating the power of one. The power of one individual commited so selflessly and passionately to a righteous cause. The impact of one man giving and giving in the name of humanity and liberty never looking for his dues or acting with ulterior motives. A imponderably amazing human being and an outrageous and tragic loss! I had never heard of Sergio Vieira de Mello before this documentary but I trust that now I will never forget his name. Doubtlessly one of the most inspiring modern men of which i have ever known. May his dream of a servicable and universally respected UN peace keeping effort live on.
Like many, I did not know of Sergio Vieira de Mello until the day he was killed. There was something about the coverage of him in the media that made me read more about him and his work is one of the reasons that I went back to graduate school to change careers. Having recently graduated from the international studies program from which Secretary of State Rice received her Ph.D., I think most of the program's current students and recent graduates would say that we'd rather be seen as following in Sergio's footsteps than in hers. Thank you for showing this film and for keeping Sergio's contribution front and center at a time when most world leaders spend little time helping those who most need their assistance.
Vancouver, BC Canada
I did not know of this man before seeing EN ROUTE TO BAGHDAD. What an utterly wonderful man. What an incredable loss to mankind. What a gift to this earth for him to have spent such a brief time here and to have accomplish such greatness. Sadness fills my heart as others who have known him expressed. Yes, my perception of the UN has expanded and it feels so great to know there are diamonds amongst thoses who still have so far to go. I think his striking quality was that he trusted people and the dreams they aspiried to.
Dawn Ortiz Legg
San Luis Obispo, Californ
I had no idea who Sergio Vieira de Mello was in his courageous life! Thank you so much for sharing the story of Sergio and the United Nations. As child of Mexican and Czech parents, growing up in Midwestern US, I have known the ability to cross culturals with some success. When one has the desire and meets with people who have the desire, it can work!
The tragedy of Sergio's death and frustration for the UN team in Iraq was the blame of the US government (the occupying force). In my town, a new UN group has been started to show that many Americans want to see the United Nations receive funding to carry out their work. I think it is called Friends of the United Nations. In addition, I would like to see the U.S. AID, World Bank and the International Monterey Fund reduced in strength and power; I would like to see changes in the Security Council, so the US and Isreal may no longer stop all progress and voices. Yes to Sergio's inspiration, and yes to opening doors for finding my higher good for me and my world. I loved Sergio's story! Mille Grazi!
Alona McFarland Hudgens
Palm Desert, Ca.
After watching "En Route to Bagdad " my heart ached at the sad ending of Sergio Vieira de Mello. His loss is a loss for this planet. How fortunate we were to have him. What a true human being. A "Mench". Thank you for educating me on him and the United Nations. I too was losing faith.
independent lens is everyday tv fare in england. having been back in the US since december--having lived in the UK for several years--it was a breath of fresh air to see the type of programming that fuels a great deal of British network television.
american tv has deteriorated in the past 7 years to such a degree as to take one's breath away. the shock of using tv to peddle hard pharmaceuticals is stunning. that the citizens of this country dont all heave their sets out the window is even more stunning.
on the heels of having just seen En Route to Baghdad after viewing "Good night, and good luck."-- the story of Edward R Murrow's battles with both Mc Carthy and for the realization of the potetnial of the medium of television--one can only just sigh...
pbs seemd to have capitulated to the prevailing moeurs so i was taken aback to see independent lens brought on board the programming.
This unique documentory gave me insight to a man who just gave and gave until his life was tragically taken away. It left me wanting to know more about Sergio. This should have been two hours long.
Johnson City, Tx
Although I was very impressed with the very impressive accomplishments of Mr. Segio de Mello and sadened by his untimely death, I was disappointed that only a snipet of a comment voiced by his son indicated to me that perhaps Mr. de Mello's children hardly knew him. (Was he married, divorced? How many children did he have? Did they live with him in Geneva or travel with him as he set about accomplishing these very important tasks?) I was always so impressed when Princess Diana took her sons with her to visit the poor, the victims of AIDS, in order to bring a balance and reality to their otherwise sheltered lives.
What personal legacy did Sergio really leave his children by the example of his life? My Panamanian (Spanish ancestry) mother used to say: "el que mucho abarca, poco aprieta." Perhaps his legacy with his own family and children would have left a more permanent and lasting influence in this changing and often forgetful world. After all, they were his future as our children always are. In my opinion, this integral part of the man, this dimension, was missing from this documentary.
Santa Rosa, CA
"En Route To Baghdad" was a wonderful piece of film about an extremely capable and sensitive human being, Sergio Vieira de Mello. What an extraordinary person he was!
I have always believed in the work of the UN and Mello's story just gave me more hope of great things to come.
Sergio was able to transcend cultural differences by speaking their languages and listening with total respect of each individual. I liked the aspect that when getting Cambodians to return, he asked where they would like to go and did not just think his job was over. He cared about each person enough to go beyond his duties.
The world needs more people like Sergio.
Fort Stockton, TX
Thank you PBS! What an outstanding story! I just happened to be up late on a work night or would have missed it. Every station should show it several times in the future (with prior notice/advertising) at 7pm and on Sat/Sundays. No one should miss it. Sergio is not only a great model for all diplomats, but for humans period! What a loss for his family, Brazil, the UN and the world.
The film should be strongly suggested publicly as a "must see" for all US citizens working for State Dept. or UN......from now on. A classic case history.
San Jose, CA
The Independent Lens show on Monday evening 10/17/05, re: Sergio Vievrede Mello was mezmerizing. I was captivated with Sergio. He was such a forerunner for peace and love, and family. Blessings on this holy man. I was filled with HOPE about the country of Iraq. Thank you God for what this man has done in the world. It is wonderful to know that there are people like Sergio working for us in the UN around the world. I was so saddened to learn that he was killed there. Such a loss. But there will be others like him who follow in his path. His charisma and charm really filled me with hope for that area of the world. It was awesome!
Thank you PBS for such great shows!!!!
Palm Beach, Florida
As an American citizen who has chosen to study here, it saddens me after watching this segment of Independent Lens to see the life of such a brilliant man, cut so short by human tragedy. It also enrages me to know that this story took almost two years later to reach the surface. This film has given me the push to pursue an education overseas.
It is my sincere hope that this man's example is used to not only expose the wrongs of the Security Council, and it's necessity to have an overriding mechanism for the safety of future peacekeepers, but most importantly to highlight the importance of contributing to humanity (the way Sergio so exemplarily showed)in any way we can; no matter how great or how small.
People always seem to hear; but do they ever listen?
Thanks for listening.
What a contrast to have watched Frontline's program about US interrogation policies ("The Torture Question") in Iraq and Guantanamo juxtaposed with your profile of Sergio Vieira de Mello. The heavy-handed arrogance of the US practice is shameful in comparison to the inspiring and respectful statesmanship of Vieira de Mello (and other UN workers), despite both being exercized in seemingly hopeless circumstances. Thank you for this film.
Sergio Vieira de Mello is a God, in my book.
It would be a shame if the entire world did not become aware of his efforts. I put him right up there with Ghandi, Jesus and Kofi Annan as one of the greatest figures in our modern history.
Having watched last night's film, I am immensely proud to throw my support and money into KERA-PBS and educate and enlighten as many people as possible. It is literally,"truth in news." How refreshing!
Thank you, thank you for making it possible.
I must say I enjoyed your documentary very much. Yet I do have one important criticism.
As a Brazilian I was and still am very proud of Sergio's work. I enjoyed everything about the documentary until the very end. Perhaps this isn't a criticism of the documentary itself, but of those in it. I can see where there have been numerous mistakes by the US administration. But equally so, or perhaps more so as viewed by some, the UN has failed the Iraqi people time and time again. So to see UN officials denounce the US as if the UN has been at all effective in promoting peace in the Middle East region is grossly ignoring the thuth.
What I would have liked to see at the end is those same UN officials instead speak of how the UN can stop allowing these rogue dictators and dictatorial governments from ever taking power again and to demand un-democratic nations to begin the democratic process.
Its easy for them to analyse the clear and evident mistakes in the current Iraqi operation, but I for one think this is short sighted. For if not for the UN legitimizing these nations and dictators, they wouldn't hold power for so long. Instead, countries like Syria is invited to the human rights abuses council, clearly turning the other cheek to clear and obvious human rights violations.
I wish the UN would grow a backbone and realise that perhaps it needs to be more forceful with rogue nations before it leads to war between them.
I have always hoped that the UN was comprised of beacons of humanitarian ideals and world vision on a scale such as Sergio Vieira de Mello. It appears that the state of affairs of the current administration of the US and it's desperate internatinoal posturing post 9/11 has created an opinion that the UN is ineffective in governing it's own constituants and their member countries. All of the good programs and policy have been over shadowed by US lead opinion and media spin. I have concerns that attempts to focus on any one objective, given the enormity of the world issues, make any effort seemingly futile. I was pleased to see the human side of the leaders and policy makers of the UN and my perception to be proven otherwise. I would be interested in knowing how I could become personally involved in UN efforts concerning health and human services on an international level as it is something that I would like to dedicate my life to. Having watched the documentary I am inspired and would like to honor Sergio's legacy and the Mission of the UN by getting involved and making a difference in the world.
The work Sergio Vieira accomplished was relevant and inspiring. I saw this film right after the program on torture of prisoners in Guantanamo and Iraq. If we put two and two together, meaning: to what extremes are we willing to go in order to get what we want, I wonder who really killed Sergio Vieira de Mello. I wonder. Anything is possible at this point... I would not be surprised.
James Dunn (a former UN expert on crimes aqainst humanity)
Sergio Vieira, whom I came to know well, was one of the outstanding international figures of our age. At a time when we so badly needed his capacity to lead and inspire us, on the basis of the UN's humanitarian principles and standards, his loss was no less than devastating.
Sergio, and his mentor, Kofi Annan, seemed to give the UN system a new life, a new credibility. Right now it is still under a completely unfair and misguided assault. But it the leading nations, not the UN, that has lost their way. They demand of the UN a democratic integrity, and a fiscal perfection that they themselves are incapable of. We all need to remember that the UN is largely a captive of a very imperfect world. To honour the memory of Sergio we need to demand stronger support for those ideals that Vieira himself held dear, which offer a way to a safer, more humane and more just world. James Dunn, Author: East Timor: A Rough Passage to Independence.