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The Siege

Director:Edward Zwick
Writers:Lawrence Wright, Menno Meyjes and Edward Zwick
Twentieth Century Fox; R; 107 minutes
Release:11/98
Cast:Denzel Washington, Annette Bening, Bruce Willis, Tony Shalhoub, Sami Bouajila and David Proval

Arab Americans protested this film before it was released, anticipating a racist, one-sided depiction of their community. Zwick, however, was careful to balance his portrayal of Arabs. The effect, though, lacks a sense of urgency and sinks into didactics. After the covert kidnapping of Sheki Ahmed Bin Talal, a Muslim leader suspect of masterminding terrorist bombings, his followers stage a series of deadly bombings in New York. The FBI, CIA, and Army band together — and lock horns — to stem the violence. The result: a New York City under martial law, with Arab Americans placed in barbed wire internment cells.


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