To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:


Aesthetics of Law and Culture: Texts, Images, Screens

ISBN: 978-0-76231-151-4, eISBN: 978-1-84950-304-4

ISSN: 1059-4337

Publication date: 30 December 2004


The Siege opens with news footage of the bombing of military dormitory barracks in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia (on June 25, 1996). Whatever the genesis of the screenplay may have been, the release of a film some two years after the actual event which inspired some of its story is remarkably quick by Hollywood standards (where the average development time of any project is three years). An interesting film on its initial release, it now screens like a premonition, or a blueprint. The fictional alleged perpetrator of the bombing – which was actually the work of Al Qaeda – Ahmed bin Talal is secretly kidnapped by U.S. forces, and taken to the U.S. The drama which then unfolds involves the operations of a network of terrorist cells – all trained by the CIA to destabilize Saddam Hussein – demanding bin Talal’s release through an escalating series of bombings in New York City culminating in the destruction of One Federal Plaza, the imposition of martial law in Brooklyn, and the detention of all Arab-American adult males in makeshift camps set up in sports stadiums.


Hutchings, P.J. (2004), "13. SOVEREIGN CONTEMPT", Kenyon, A. and Rush, P. (Ed.) Aesthetics of Law and Culture: Texts, Images, Screens (Studies in Law, Politics, and Society, Vol. 34), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 269-277.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited