IMDb > Besieged (1998)
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Besieged (1998) More at IMDbPro »L'assedio (original title)

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Down 5% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Clare Peploe (writer) and
Bernardo Bertolucci (writer) ...
View company contact information for Besieged on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
21 May 1999 (USA) See more »
Touched by Genius. Cursed by Madness. Blinded by Love.
When an African dictator jails her husband, Shandurai goes into exile in Italy, studying medicine and keeping house for Mr... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
3 wins & 11 nominations See more »
(2 articles)
20 films you must watch at Mumbai Film Festival 2012
 (From 27 September 2012, 2:14 AM, PDT)

Zee Studio Maiden Mondays Presents Besieged
 (From RealBollywood. 24 September 2010, 6:54 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
But now I've said too much? See more (42 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Thandie Newton ... Shandurai

David Thewlis ... Jason Kinsky

Claudio Santamaria ... Agostino
John C. Ojwang ... Singer
Massimo De Rossi ... Patient
Cyril Nri ... Priest
Paul Osul ... Piano Buyer
Veronica Lazar ... Piano Buyer
Gian Franco Mazzoni ... Piano Buyer (as Gianfranco Mazzoni)
Maria Mazetti Di Pietralata ... Piano Buyer
Andrea Quercia ... Child pianist at concert
Alexander Menis ... Child at concert
Natalia Mignosa ... Child at concert
Lorenzo Mollica ... Child at concert
Elena Perino ... Child at concert
Fernando Trombetti ... Child at concert
Veronica Visentin ... Child at concert

Directed by
Bernardo Bertolucci 
Writing credits
Clare Peploe (writer) and
Bernardo Bertolucci (writer)

James Lasdun (story)

Produced by
Massimo Cortesi .... producer
Clare Peploe .... associate producer
Original Music by
Alessio Vlad 
Cinematography by
Fabio Cianchetti 
Film Editing by
Jacopo Quadri 
Casting by
Fabiola Banzi 
Lucy Boulting 
Production Design by
Gianni Silvestri 
Art Direction by
Cynthia Sleiter  (as Cinzia Sleiter)
Set Decoration by
Cynthia Sleiter 
Costume Design by
Metka Kosak 
Makeup Department
Elisabetta De Leonardis .... hair stylist
Roberta Petrini .... makeup artist
Production Management
Andrea Filosa .... production manager
Emanuele Lomiry .... unit manager
Luigi Melecchi .... production manager: Africa
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Serena Canevari .... assistant director
Yahya Chavanga .... assistant director: Africa
Ginevra Elkann .... third assistant director
Henrique Laplaine .... second assistant director
Art Department
Vito Consoli .... painter
Renzo Corradi .... construction carpenter
Franco Fabietti .... construction carpenter
Ivano Gatti .... painter
Cristiano Gobbi .... swing gang
Metka Kosak .... textile and garden designer
Roberto Magagnini .... property master
Rodolfo Mignacca .... draper
Sabina Palermo .... props manager: Intelsa & Comunicazione
Massimo Papini .... swing gang
Monica Sallustio .... assistant art director
Vittoria Sogno .... art department assistant: Africa
Francesco Valento .... construction carpenter
Paolo Zamagni .... production design assistant
Sound Department
Fausto Ancillai .... sound re-recording mixer
Maurizio Argentieri .... sound
David Chelenga .... boom operator: Africa
Vincenzo Nardi .... boom operator
Gianni Pallotto .... assistant sound re-recording mixer
Alvaro Gramigna .... foley artist (uncredited)
Claudio Gramigna .... sound effects editor (uncredited)
Visual Effects by
David Bush .... visual effects supervisor
Camera and Electrical Department
Salvatore Anversa .... Steadicam operator
Alessio Bastianelli .... video controller
Fabio Bolli .... electrician
Alessia Bulgari .... still photographer
Aldo Colanzi .... key grip
Roberto De Nigris .... camera operator
Andrea Di Biase .... electrician
Igino Fabrizi .... electrician
Eugenio Galli .... assistant camera
Felice Guzzi .... gaffer
Mario Lamoratta .... generator operator
Maurizio Lorenzetti .... assistant camera
Wycliffe Makotsi .... gaffer: Africa
Gianni Mastrangelo .... still photographer: Africa
Gabriel Mugo Nduati .... grip: Africa
Martin N. Munyua .... assistant camera: Africa
Gianluigi Pasqualini .... electrician
Luigi Pasqualini .... electrician
Marco Santarelli .... grip
Paolo Tiberti .... dolly grip
Casting Department
Lenny Juma .... casting: Africa
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Suzanne Belcher .... wardrobe assistant: Africa (as Suzy Belcher)
Elisa di Serio .... seamstress
Editorial Department
Francesco Biscuso .... assistant to editor
Letizia Caudullo .... first assistant editor
Carlo La Bella .... color consultant (as Carlo Labella)
Lorenza Parlatore .... assistant to editor
Alessandro Baragli .... assistant editor (uncredited)
Music Department
Stefano Arnaldi .... music arranger
Stefano Arnaldi .... musician: piano solos
Transportation Department
Silvano Broglia .... driver
William Cheruyiot .... driver: Africa
Lucio Fanni .... driver
Yussuf Duale Ghani .... driver: Africa
Livio Gizzi .... driver
Vincenzo Novani .... driver
Samson Oladare .... driver: Africa
Simon Wakaba .... driver: Africa
Other crew
Nicoletta Billi .... unit publicist
Lara dall'Antonia .... assistant to producer
Suzanne Durrenberger .... script supervisor
Sabrina Falcioni .... cashier
Maria Fiorito .... production accountant
Fabien Gerard .... additional script supervisor
Gabriel Gitau .... assistant location manager: Africa
Denise Katana .... unit nurse: Africa
Dan Kiarie .... set coordinator: Africa
David Mangai .... unit runner: Africa
Victor Maniafu .... security: Africa
Jimmy Mukora .... location manager: Africa
Ben Pont .... armorer: Africa
Jenny Pont .... production coordinator: Africa
Tony Rimwa .... crowd control: Africa
Barbara Ruggeri .... production coordinator
Carlo Ventura .... dialogue coach
Julius Wanderi .... assistant location manager: Africa
Alberto De Stefani .... accountant (uncredited)
Hercules Bellville .... special thanks
Pio Bordoni .... special thanks
Olivia Cutore .... special thanks
Ulisse Ferrari .... special thanks
Thomas Fox .... special thanks
Vito Lucio Amedeo Garofalo .... special thanks
Marilyn Goldin .... special thanks
Samba Kosak .... special thanks
Carol Levi .... special thanks
Gabriele Mazzetti .... special thanks
Mark Peploe .... special thanks
Sheba Pombeah .... special thanks
Piers Rogers .... special thanks
Jeremy Thomas .... special thanks
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"L'assedio" - Italy (original title)
"The Siege" - Canada (English title)
See more »
Rated R for brief sexuality
93 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

This was originally meant to be a 60 minute TV play until Bernardo Bertolucci decided to expand it.See more »
Movie Connections:
References Chungking Express (1994)See more »


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22 out of 26 people found the following review useful.
But now I've said too much?, 9 July 1999
Author: iam

What to say? Besieged is a timeless, unabashedly romantic masterpiece. Poetic and original, this movie studies two people locked in a slow dance of seduction. Based on James Lasdun's short story, "The Siege", the film reveals that love need not not be reduced to self-satisfaction and immediate gratification or communication to trifling words. Can love transcend ostensibly insurmountable objects before the principle characters (such as the dizzying height of the spiral staircase)? Perhaps. One thing is for sure: this film will strike a resounding chord in your heart! Not only does the glorious music speak volumes of the character and background of Mr. Kinsky, a wealthy European pianist, and his live-in housekeeper, Shandurai, it also pitch-perfectly articulates feelings too buried for either to verbalize. Indeed, when used as a medium to express emotions, music is much more effective than words. In the few instances they make eye contact, words seem to be superfluous. With minimal dialogue, it's incredible how Shandurai and Kinsky find ways to communicate and impact the other's life. The collision of their two worlds is celebrated in the hauntingly beautiful piece Kinsky composes for Shandurai,"Ostinato". The sounds and the deafening silences, the sights and the suspicious disappearances are all exquisitely executed by Bertolucci. With Claire Peploe, he fashions a tale that is at once simple and profound. Bringing the story to life is a powerhouse cast. Thandie Newton as the beleaguered and reticent Shandurai is a revelation. David Thewlis as the lovelorn, crafty, idiosyncratic ideograph Kinsky is way beyond "good enough". His portrayal of a man who achieves liberation through sacrifice is captivating. Also marvellous are the performances of John C. Ojwang as the griot and Claudio Santamaria as the buddy. Unlike the majority of movies that will be released this year, this one will etch an indelible impression on your mind and spirit. But now I've said too much?

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the man always singing.... Gina00077
Shandurai and her friend ana_cherrynose91
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