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State of Siege (1972)
"État de siège" (original title)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama, Thriller  |  8 February 1973 (France)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 2,244 users  
Reviews: 23 user | 13 critic

In Uruguay in the early 1970s, an official of the US Agency for International Development (a group used as a front for training foreign police in counterinsurgency methods) is kidnapped by ... See full summary »

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Title: State of Siege (1972)

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 5 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Philip Michael Santore
...
Captain Lopez
O.E. Hasse ...
Carlos Ducas
Jacques Weber ...
Hugo
Jean-Luc Bideau ...
Este
Maurice Teynac ...
Minister of Internal Security
Yvette Etiévant ...
Woman Senator
Evangeline Peterson ...
Mrs. Santore
Harald Wolff ...
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Nemesio Antúnez ...
President of the Republic
Mario Montilles ...
Assistant Commissioner Fontant
André Falcon ...
Deputy Fabbri
Jerry Brouer ...
Anthony Lee
Roberto Navarrete ...
Commissioner Romero
Douglas Harris ...
A.I.D. Director
Edit

Storyline

In Uruguay in the early 1970s, an official of the US Agency for International Development (a group used as a front for training foreign police in counterinsurgency methods) is kidnapped by a group of urban guerillas. Using his interrogation as a backdrop, the film explores the often brutal consequences of the struggle between Uruguay's government and the leftist Tupamaro guerillas. Written by Erich Schneider <erich@alumni.caltech.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

| |

Language:

Release Date:

8 February 1973 (France)  »

Also Known As:

State of Siege  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was going to be the first movie shown in the new John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. It was cancelled because the plot of the movie was judged to be inappropriate. This caused a big controversy. A Washington D.C. television station took advantage of the controversy by acquiring the broadcast rights to the film and showing it uncut after running a big advertising campaign calling it the "film banned from the Kennedy Center." See more »

Goofs

The film constantly alludes to the U.S. official's previous postings in "Brazil and Santo Domingo," and the flashback to the police academy even shows the delegate sitting next to a sign reading "Santo Domingo" along with those of other countries. But Santo Domingo is not a country, it is the capital of the Dominican Republic. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Dancer Upstairs (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Costa Gavras does it again
26 October 2008 | by (London) – See all my reviews

In what could be considered a follow up to his classic Z, Costa Gavras yet again tackles the political thriller genre with great mastery.

In Uruguay, an American with a somewhat vague and mysterious background but who is held in high esteem by the ruling powers is kidnapped. The kidnappers start interrogating him and through this backdrop, we are introduced to the struggles between leftist rebels and a right wing government in the Latin American country.

As I said before, the film is very similar to one of director Gavras's earlier efforts, Z. Like that film, this too depicts the struggle between two powers, one represented by a US-backed right wing government, the other a slightly leftist liberal resistance movement. Although the government is shown in a bad light here, neither side is overly demonized or depicted heroically. Instead, both have their motives which are ultimately quite noble so the viewer can identify with both. It is this tendency to show both sides of the story that makes Gavras a great storyteller and why both this and Z succeed so well.

Like in Z, Gavras likes to keep the camera at a distance giving us a good overview of events like for example riots in the street and how the police deal with them. The film also keeps away from unnecessary subplots and instead focuses on the story, just the way I like it. Music is used minimally and when it is used, it is effective, instead of having a constant background jingle.

If you liked Z, you will like this and if you like this, you will like Z. Or if you just like a good intelligent political thriller, this is the film for you.


7 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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