In this documentary, Mountainfilm Festival Director David Holbrooke attempts to get to know his father, Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, “better in death than I did in life.”
The senior Holbrooke’s career is tracked from his early days as a foreign service officer in Vietnam through his most profound success in securing a peace between Bosnia, Serbia and Croatia and, finally, to his work as U.S. point man for Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Interviewing an impressive array of dignitaries, David considers America’s position as international policeman and diplomatic exemplar and gauges how these roles have evolved in the nearly 50 years his father worked at the State Department. Simultaneously, The Diplomat is a frank exploration of family relationships, offering a lens to judge public persona against the man his sons struggled to know — ultimately creating a sensitive portrait of fatherhood weighed against ambition, celebrity, legacy and the force required to affect change in the world.
David Holbrooke has been festival director of Telluride Mountainfilm since 2007 and is the director of The Diplomat. He first attended the festival in 1999 and was hooked when he saw Genghis Blues, followed by a performance by the film’s star, Kongar Ol-Ondar. David returned to the festival as a filmmaker several times with Live from Shiva’s Dance Floor, Time for a New God, Freaks Like Me and A Redwood Grows in Brooklyn, which features acclaimed nature photographer James Balog. David's feature documentary, Hard As Nails, was a Mountainfilm 2007 award winner. Before he became a filmmaker, David spent a year in the dotcom world. For the first half of his career, he worked in television news, producing long-form pieces for "The Today Show," CBS News and CNN. David has been a contributing editor at GQ and written for The Huffington Post and CNN.com. His production company, Giraffe Partners, is working on several documentaries, but his main focus is programming for Mountainfilm. While he long ago lost count of how many films he's watched in the last decade, he still gets wildly excited by a great, well-told story.