The Freedom Theatre Palestine presents the premiere of The Siege:
April 2002. Spring in Bethlehem. A group of armed men seek sanctuary in one of the world's holiest sites as the Israeli army closes in with helicopters, tanks and snipers. Along with the fighters are some 200 priests, nuns and civilians. The siege lasts for 39 days, paralyzing the center of Bethlehem and keeping tens of thousands under curfew. Inside the Church of Nativity the besieged are hungry and weakening. The smell of unwashed bodies and broken lavatories is mixed with the stench from the suppurating wounds of the injured whilst two dead bodies are decomposing in a cave below the church. While the world is watching, the fighters are faced with the question of whether to struggle to the end or to surrender. No matter what they choose, they will have to leave their families and their homeland behind forever.
While some might call the siege a desecration of a holy place, others view it as a continuation of the church's ancient tradition of offering sanctuary to those who ask for protection. The production raises important questions about strategies of resistance against military might and gives a unique insight into the Palestinian armed resistance and the struggle for freedom.
The Siege is created by world-renowned The Freedom Theatre from Jenin Refugee Camp in Palestine.