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State of Siege
 
 

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PFF resources | Index of films screened by the PFF
STATE OF SIEGE


Directed by | Constantin CostasGavras

Genre fiction  |  Length: 115mins  |  Year of production: 1972


CostasGavras (Z, 1969) has a deserved reputation for translating some of the most tumultuous political events of the 20th century into commercially successful but hard hitting dramas. With State of Siege, he recounts the gripping true story of the kidnapping by Marxist Tupamaro guerrillas of US “regime change” consultant and torture expert Dan Mitrione in Uruguay in 1970. With Yves Montand playing Mitrione and an awardwinning original score by Mikis Theodorakis, CostasGavras achieves a perfect balance between serious political cinema and absorbing storytelling. Hauntingly prescient, this account of CIA led covert interventions and security force “restructuring” programmes in Latin America was withdrawn when scheduled to screen at the opening of the American Film Institute, and is arguably only more powerful today in an era experienced by many as one of neocolonialism and aggressive “regime change” programmes involving the widespread use of torture.