Coverup: Behind the Iran - Contra Affair

Director: Barbara Trent
Screenwriters: Eve Goldberg

Institute History

  • 1989 Sundance Film Festival


Coverup uncovers government by sleaze, and presents a sharp polemic against a base band of men who, operating covertly and beyond the law, seem to determine major United States foreign policy. This timely and contentious film, making unusual and dramatic use of video wipes and a driving score, discovers that public record today exists not so much in print as in electronics. Broadcast news and televised hearings provide source material where former White House policy advisors make allegations which are consistent, lucid and chilling.

Coverup forcefully argues that, activated by financial greed as well as ideological concerns, a clandestine group, perhaps either affiliated with the C.I.A. or working within its shadows, engineered the Iran arms-for-hostages swap (on President Reagan’s inauguration day, no less!), supported the cocaine-running activity of some of the Contras, and was even involved din the assassination attempt on Eden Pastora Gomez at his press conference. The film suggests that President-elect Bush is a principal member of this secret and culpable team. Directed with a lean eye and flair usually absent from partisan filmmaking by Barbara Trent, Coverup makes muck aggressively, investigates angrily and keeps a riveted audience informed and educated.

— Larry Kardish

Screening Details

As you use our Online Archives, please understand that the information presented from Festivals, Labs, and other activities is taken directly from official publications from each year. While this information is limited and doesn't necessarily represent the full list of participants (e.g. actors and crew), it is the list given to us by the main film/play/project contact at the time, based on the space restrictions of our publications. Each entry in the Online Archives is meant as a historical record of a particular film, play, or project at the time of its involvement with Sundance Institute. For this reason, we can only amend an entry if a name is misspelled, or if the entry does not correctly reflect the original publication. If you have questions or comments, please email [email protected]