'Ambassador: Inside The Embassy'

New National Geographic Home Video Gains Unprecedented Access Behind

America's Embassy Walls During International Crisis and Calm

Available on November 26, 2002, On VHS And DVD

Oct 07, 2002, 01:00 ET from National Geographic Society

    WASHINGTON, Oct. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- They have been held as hostages. Their
 offices have been bombed. Some have been killed in the line of duty. Yet
 despite the risks, America's ambassadors continue to push on, working
 diligently to maintain America's international relationships amid threats,
 terrorism, and tragedies. In a candid and unprecedented look within embassy
 walls throughout the world, the National Geographic Home Video's (NGHV)
 "Ambassador: Inside the Embassy" reveals today's responsibilities and
 challenges facing America's diplomats. The new NGHV title will be available on
 November 26 at the suggested retail prices of $19.98 for VHS and at $24.98 for
     "We have to be there in their country, in their capital, concerned about
 them, no matter if we are on good terms or bad terms with their government at
 any particular moment. And the presence of an American flag in many of those
 places is a very reassuring sight," says Secretary of State Colin L. Powell in
 the documentary.
     For many people, the sight of the Stars and Stripes waving from the
 rooftop of an American embassy is a symbol of hope and freedom. But that same
 image also presents a potent, highly visible target for enemies of the United
 States. Amid the danger and drama, "Ambassador: Inside the Embassy" reveals
 the personal side of a powerful American institution as four ambassadors in
 challenging circumstances grant National Geographic intimate access to their
 professional and personal lives. Just returning from her assigned post in
 Guatemala, Ambassador Prudence Bushnell is used to difficult situations. Her
 previous post was in Africa, where she survived the 1998 bombings of the
 United States embassy in Kenya (linked to Osama bin Laden) -- an experience
 that she shares in this National Geographic Special. "I still feel the effects
 of that day," she said, "I've come to realize that terrorist acts are a part
 of modern life and part of being an ambassador is never letting your guard
     This is something that Ambassador Wendy Chamberlin also realized as she
 arrived at her new post in Islamabad, Pakistan just one month before the
 September 11th attacks on the United States last year. Chamberlin soon found
 herself at the pinnacle of her diplomatic career -- ambassador at one of the
 largest American embassies in the world in a country on the front lines of a
 massive military operation and on the front pages of the world's newspapers.
 In this NGHV release, Chamberlin shares exclusive details of the days
 following the terrorist attacks and her historic meeting with Pakistan
 President General Pervez Musharraf to side with United States in the war on
     In Tokyo, newly appointed Ambassador Howard Baker is the key to
 maintaining good relations with Japan after the fatal collision of an American
 submarine and a Japanese fishing ship. One of his first official duties is
 offering -- in person -- our nation's apology to the families of the victims,
 captured on film only by National Geographic. National Geographic also joins
 Baker as he presents his credentials to the emperor of Japan in an ornate
 traditional ceremony. Meanwhile, first time ambassador-to-be Robert V. Royall
 learns the ways of Tanzania, his new home, in a specialized two-week crash
 course. But it's not all pleasantries and protocol. With extreme poverty,
 terrorist threats, and strained relations to contend with, ambassadors must
 learn much more than how to entertain foreign heads of state.
     From the bustling streets of Islamabad to the ceremony-filled culture of
 Tokyo, ambassadors must work closely with foreign leaders, dignitaries, and
 politicians to develop and sustain key alliances and create lasting
 relationships. Ambassadors also maintain an excellent vantage point from which
 to observe conditions in their host nation. "They have a better sense of
 what's going on in that country," says Powell, "than any expert sitting back
 in Washington."
     National Geographic Home Video titles are distributed by Warner Home Video
 (WHV), an AOL/Time Warner Company, operating in 57 countries including the US
 and Canada. WHV is one of the world's leading suppliers of pre-recorded
 videocassettes and videodiscs and a market leader in family entertainment.
     Building on its global reputation for remarkable visuals and compelling
 stories, National Geographic Television & Film augments its award-winning
 documentary productions (119 Emmy Awards and more than 800 other industry
 awards) with feature films, large-format films, and long-form television drama
 programming. Worldwide, National Geographic's television programming can be
 seen on the National Geographic Channel, MSNBC, and PBS, home video and DVD,
 and through international broadcast syndication. The National Geographic
 Channel is received by more than 140 million households in 23 languages in 141
 countries, including the United States. For more information about National
 Geographic Television & Film, log on to http://www.nationalgeographic.com or
 AOL keyword: NatGeo.
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SOURCE National Geographic Society