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The True Story of Blackhawk Down (2003)

Real footage is shown to prove that the film Black Hawk Down (2001) was very true to the real events that occured in Mogadishu in 1993. Actual militia and US rangers are interviewed to tell... See full summary »



Nominated for 2 Primetime Emmys. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
Narrator (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Hussein Aidid ...
Steve Anderson ...
Himself - Ranger
Lee Van Arsdale ...
Himself - Special Forces Operator
John Belman ...
Himself - Ranger
Anton Berendsen ...
Himself - Ranger
Mark Bowden ...
Himself - Author of 'Black Hawk Down'
Jammaa Cabdulle ...
Himself - Militiaman
Abukar Cali ...
Himself - Somali Medic
John Collett ...
Himself - Ranger
Ashad Dedine ...
Herself - Mogadishu Community Leader
Mike Durant ...
Himself - Pilot (as Michael Durant)
Mike Goodale ...
Himself - Ranger
James Holmstrom ...
Himself - Ranger
Adballahi Hussan ...
Himself - Aidid Minister


Real footage is shown to prove that the film Black Hawk Down (2001) was very true to the real events that occured in Mogadishu in 1993. Actual militia and US rangers are interviewed to tell us the different sides of the conflict when Somalia was under the power of Aidid. Written by Rhyl Donnelly

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Documentary | Drama





Release Date:

3 June 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The True Story of Black Hawk Down  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This documentary is featured on the Black Hawk Down (2001) Deluxe Edition DVD, released in June of 2003. See more »


References Black Hawk Down (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

Very Good Documentary
7 October 2003 | by (Isle Of Bute , Scotland) – See all my reviews

To commemorate the 10th anniversary of the battle of Mogadishu the history channel broadcast this at the weekend while Sky movies showed the film version of BLACK HAWK DOWN . I liked Ridley Scott's movie a lot . In fact I would say it was my second favourite release of 2001 behind FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING , but my major criticism of the film is that it has unlike the book an entirely subjective American viewpoint . As you might expect this documentary is closer to Mark Bowden's written account than the movie

TTSOBHD is composed of interviews with people who were there on the day , intercut with news footage and dramatised segments . The interviewees are an electic bunch : rangers , special forces , Somalis , and UN staff . It also explores in depth the context of what was happening in the horn of Africa at the time and doesn't go out of it's way to whitewash American mistakes , indeed one of the first things the documentary mentions is when the Delta Force raid a building , tie up the occupants at gunpoint only to realize later they've snatched a load of humanitarian staff working at a UN compound ! Of the people interviewed Mark Bowden is awarded the most screen time which since he wrote the source material is hardly surprising , but perhaps the most interesting interviewee is Hussein Aidid who served in the US marines and took over his father's clan after he was killed in 1996 . Mike Durant's account of when he was held prisoner is also of great interest since he's reduced to a bit part in the film , and though it's not obliquely stated by Durant or any of the American servicemen who fought in the battle you can't help feeling these men are still bitter at the Clinton administration for sending them to Somalia and then pulling them out when things started getting tough .

I've only one real criticism of the documentary and that's it never raises a point brought up in an edition of the BBC's history series TIMEWATCH about the battle , and that's the possibility that a Somali spy was a double agent working for Aideed . You have to ask yourself why were the Aideed faction so well prepared for the American raid ? , but this point is never brought up , but all in all this is a very informative documentary

update Aug 2006: In reply to Dubblegock I do realise it was originally Bush Snr who sent American forces to Somalia but the Rangers themselves were sent and taken out by Clinton . Apologies for any confusion

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