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NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

THE SIEGE (article first published : 2005-07-22)

On July 27 at 20h00, M-Net will show the 1998 thriller The Siege directed by Edward Zwick and starring Denzel Washington and Bruce Willis.

When the US military abducts a Muslim leader, New York City becomes the target of several terrorist attacks in this gripping political thriller ripped from newspaper headlines. Denzel Washington stars as Anthony "Hub" Hubbard, the head of the FBI terrorism task force who is charge of investigating the bombings. Ironically, Hub's partner, Frank Haddad (Tony Shalhoub), is Arab-American and must fight for his family's rights as the citizens of New York become increasingly paranoid about the Arab-American population.

Elise Kraft (Annette Bening) is an undercover CIA official and Middle East expert who is also investigating the terrorist attacks and joins Hub and Frank as they search for the terrorists. As Hub, Elise, and Frank work to uncover the source of the terrorism, the city erupts in escalating madness, spiralling out of control until the government sends in General William Devereaux (Bruce Willis) who takes over the city and declares martial law.

Ultimately, the government seizes the male Arab-American population of New York in makeshift internment camps in this relevant and cautionary thriller that examines the real dilemma of how a democratic society can uphold the rights of its citizens while under military protection. Director Edward Zwick's film features excellent performances from an all-star cast and includes real footage of President Clinton addressing the problem of terrorism.




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