Besieged 1998

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Almost certainly the last great film from writer Bernardo Bertolucci, Besieged is a far more modest affair than The Last Emperor, with the action largely confined to a beautiful Italian apartment in Rome. Shandurai (Thandi Newton) moves in, and becomes the object of the affections of British composer and pianist Kinsky (David Thewlis), but she rejects his advances. She’s more concerned about her African husband, who has been jailed by a dictator. Kinsky begins to release that his love for Shandurai goes beyond physical attraction, and attempts to change her mind about him with a grand gesture. Besieged is a simple film about complex romantic and political issues, well-performed and the work of a master film-maker whose minor work is more powerful than most director’s best.

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