September 1977. The Japanese man speaks in halting English; the Bangladeshi negotiator, with the clipped confidence of an army officer. A color scheme suggests order in the exchange: green, red, and the occasional white. But underneath the schema of a dark screen-subtitle sans image-lies a waiting unraveling. The Japanese Red Army had attached to the Palestinian cause, and through that to an idea of global pan-Arabism. But the high-value hostage turned out to be an Armenian banker from California, and the Democratic Party Congressman on honeymoon negotiated a call to the White House, only to be greeted by Jimmy Carter's answering service. The hostage terrain was not an "Islamic Republic," as the hijackers thought, but a turbulent new country ricocheting between polarities and imploding in the process. Two years earlier, the country had gone through a trio of military coups, decimating, in turn, the country's founder and Prime Minister Mujibur Rahman, his family, a group of ...