State of siege

State of siege

DVD - 2015 | French
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Costa-Gavras puts the United States' involvement in South American politics under the microscope in this arresting thriller. An urban guerilla group, outraged at the counterinsurgency and torture training clandestinely organized by the CIA in their country (unnamed in the film), abducts a U.S. official to bargain for the release of political prisoners; soon the kidnapping becomes a media sensation, leading to violence.
Publisher: [New York, New York] : The Criterion Collection, [2015]
Edition: Special edition
ISBN: 9781604659832
Branch Call Number: FRE MOVIE STA
Characteristics: video file,DVD video,region 1,rda
1 videodisc (120 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in


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Sep 12, 2017

In "État de siege" ("State of Siege" from 1972), filmmaker Costa Gravas ("Z" 1969, "Missing" 1982), has given us a powerful testament of the criminal and illegal activities of "U.S. sponsorship" (the CIA), in Latin American dictatorships and elsewhere (i.e., Iran in 1953). But, he refrains from completely demonizing one side versus the other, but prefers to show a clash of ideologies---one driven and motivated by "capital interests" (the U.S. and their puppets), and the other seemingly motivated by "ideals" (the rebels). However, one knows from experience and history, that once any opposing or revolutionary force adopts the means and the methods of their oppressors---they become just like them (e.g., Fidel Castro, Cesar Chavez, etc.), in other words, "terrorists"!

Mar 22, 2017

The Greek director Costa-Gravas is best known for his 1969 political thriller "Z," but he made several other excellent films in the early 70s. He's the rare director who made films that were highly political, but not didactic and, in a way, you can see his influence on the myriad paranoid American thrillers of the 70s, like "All the President's Men," "The Parallax View," and "Three Days of the Condor." "Z," "The Confession," and "State of Siege" (all available from the Criterion Collection form a loose trilogy about politics, power, and violence. All are loosely inspired by true stories and all star the French actor (and left-leaning) Yves Montand. In "State of Siege," Montand plays an American official in Uruguay who is kidnapped by leftist guerrillas. It has an unusual structure and it is also unusual in seeking to understand both the point of view of the guerrillas and those in power. It may one of the first films to look at American imperialism in Latin America. His films have lost little of their power or, sadly, relevance.

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