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Pet Sins February 2000

The Kingdom

This 2007 action thriller film by Peter Berg tells the story of a team of four US government agents who travel to Saudi Arabia to investigate a recent bombing carried out by Saudi terrorists against an American facility in the capital Riyadh.

The team is led by Ronald Fleury (played by Jamie Foxx), an African American agent working as both chief investigator and coordinator for the U.S. government. The agents face several obstacles, from deep distrust by Saudi officials to culturally sensitive issues concerning the role of terrorism in modern Saudi society.

Fleury develops a relationship with General Faris Al Ghazi (Ashraf Barhom), one of the Saudi counter-terrorism officials aiding him in the investigation. They become friends in during the course of piecing together the series of events that led to the bombing.

Fleury and his team are introduced to modern day Saudi Arabia, which blows away the old Orientalist stereotypes of the kingdom as a backward desert country like the one depicted in Lawrence of Arabia.

With help from Faris, Fleury comes to realize that Saudis are human beings with families and lives of their own, and not the religious fanatics or wild-eyed terrorists always showcased on TV or in newspapers.

But as the investigation becomes easier, other forces are at work against both Faris and Fleury...

L.B.
Apr 2011