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L'assedio (1998)

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While in exile in Italy, an African woman finds herself trying to get back home and free her imprisoned husband. But the only man that can help her do so is in love with her.
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4 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Collection of short films the summaries of which include; a foreign man moving to Italy, getting married and having a child; a four split scene short involving plot-less images of old ... See full summary »

Directors: Bernardo Bertolucci, Claire Denis, and 6 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Thandie Newton ... Shandurai
David Thewlis ... Jason Kinsky
Claudio Santamaria ... Agostino
John C. Ojwang John C. Ojwang ... Singer
Massimo De Rossi Massimo De Rossi ... Patient
Cyril Nri Cyril Nri ... Priest
Paul Osul Paul Osul ... Piano Buyer
Veronica Lazar ... Piano Buyer
Gian Franco Mazzoni Gian Franco Mazzoni ... Piano Buyer (as Gianfranco Mazzoni)
Maria Mazetti Di Pietralata Maria Mazetti Di Pietralata ... Piano Buyer
Andrea Quercia Andrea Quercia ... Child pianist at concert
Alexander Menis Alexander Menis ... Child at concert
Natalia Mignosa Natalia Mignosa ... Child at concert
Lorenzo Mollica Lorenzo Mollica ... Child at concert
Elena Perino Elena Perino ... Child at concert
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Storyline

When an African dictator jails her husband, Shandurai goes into exile in Italy, studying medicine and keeping house for Mr. Kinsky, an eccentric English pianist and composer. She lives in one room of his Roman palazzo. He besieges her with flowers, gifts, and music, declaring passionately that he loves her, would go to Africa with her, would do anything for her. "What do you know of Africa?," she asks, then, in anguish, shouts, "Get my husband out of jail!" The rest of the film plays out the implications of this scene and leaves Shandurai with a choice. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

watching tv | jail | english | love | gift | See All (110) »

Taglines:

Touched by Genius. Cursed by Madness. Blinded by Love.

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for brief sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Italy | UK

Language:

English | Italian | Swahili

Release Date:

21 May 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Asediada See more »

Filming Locations:

Nairobi, Kenya See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$159,289, 23 May 1999, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,032,621, 1 August 1999
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After several years making big sweeping epics like The Last Emperor (1987), The Sheltering Sky (1990) and Little Buddha (1993), this was a deliberate effort on the part of Bernardo Bertolucci to make a "piece of chamber music for the cinema". See more »


Soundtracks

Mambote na nje
Written & Performed by Coro Bondeko
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Low budget Bertolucci.
7 February 2003 | by mifunesamuraiSee all my reviews

We have a glimpse of Shandurai's environment in a central African nation where the ruthless military politics take over and screw up her life. Welcome to Bertolucci territory you may think? Not so, we keep clear of the politics and arrive in Italy where Shandurai finds refuge as a maid cleaning a neglected household run by an eccentric lay-about British piano player. Now you may think we have the wrong film! Yes, it is a Bertolucci movie without the Tango In Paris. This is simple Bertolucci at his best. It's about conquering unwanted love the old fashion way, dealt with a sense of mystery and plenty of patience. All the imagery elements fall into place as we journey with Shandurai and her decision. Effective in every way right through to the performances of Newton and Thewlis. A very pleasing film on the senses thanks to Bertolucci who has ventured into the basic fundamentals of low budget cinema.


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