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When three American hikers, Sarah Shourd, Shane Bauer, and Josh Fattal mistakenly wandered off the beaten path near Iraq’s border with Iran in 2009, they were captured and imprisoned in Iran for over two years. Set against the backdrop of the complex geopolitical stalemate between the U.S. and Iran, and the emergence of their crisis as an international news story, this gripping documentary chronicles Sarah, Shane, and Josh’s time in prison while also telling the very personal story of three families and their unyielding efforts to get their loved ones home.
Director’s Statement: Natalie Avital
I went to one of the Free the Hikers vigils and was really moved by the stories that Sarah, Shane, and Josh’s friends were telling about them, and at that point I knew I had to help; I had to do something. There are so many people around the world who are being held unjustly, often politically, and they don’t necessarily have the media spotlight or the support that these three had. They would be the first to say, “We always knew there were people out in the world who were looking out for us.” Knowing that there are so many people who don’t have a voice — if there is a way that this film wakes people up, reminds them, and humanizes the issue, then I think we’ve done our jobs as filmmakers.