Strip Search

Synopsis: In the aftermath of the September, 11th, in China, the American student Linda Sykes is interrogated by the military Liu Tsung-Yuan. In New York, the Arab student Sharif Bin Said is interrogated by the FBI agent Karen Moore. The psychological methods of interrogation are the same, amicable in the beginning and brutal in the end; but there is no evidence that the students are terrorists. Must security and safety of the State come at the price of freedom?
Genre: Drama
Director(s): Sidney Lumet
Production: Levinson-Fontana Company
120 min

(Woman) I heard this big bang

and then the building is falling down!

It looks like a second plane.

(Bush) The US military has begun strikes.

(Reporter)... cases of anthrax...

We need every tool that's available to us.

Tools that respect...

(Bush) My focus

is bringing al-Qaeda to justice.

(Man) Say, theoretically,

that the government of the United States

could rid the world of terrorism forever,

but only if for a single day,

you gave up all of your rights

as American citizens.

24 hours with no rights.

What would you say? Would you do it?


OK. The government says

it could rid the world of terrorism forever...

if you give up all of your rights for...

a week.

Would you do it? Come on. A week.

A week. A week, all right?

A month?

A year? A year.

Just a year.

Ten years?

- Ten years.

- No.

A lifetime.

Absolutely not. No way.


(Oriental music)

Sorry. Sorry.

(Door being unlocked)

(Keys jangling)

Are you uncomfortable?

I'll bet you are uncomfortable.

Do you promise to behave?

How's that?

That's better.

I'm a public servant.

I'm here to serve.

Why am I here?

Were you hurt

when the officers arrested you?


I told them to be respectful.

Why have I been arrested?

I haven't done anything wrong.

Filthy habit.


Listen. I know that I'm a foreigner,

and as such I may not be aware

of all the laws that you people have,

but I swear I can't imagine

what crime I've committed.

- How long have you been in this country?

- A year. Maybe a little more.

I can see how that may not be enough time

to learn our laws.

Not all of them, no. Basics.

You know, the ones

that are common everywhere.

- Against murder and stealing...

- Perhaps I misspoke.

You were not arrested.

You've simply been brought in for questioning.

An interrogation?

An interview.

Because I'm a suspect?

A subject of an inquiry.

An investigation...

into crimes,

some of which may not as yet

have been committed.

You think I may commit a crime?

Anyone is capable

given the proper circumstance.

My own mother...

was arrested for shoplifting.

She's an old lady.

I have no criminal record,

no prior arrests either here or at home.


I'd like to see a lawyer,

contact my embassy.


Because, not knowing the local laws,

I'm afraid...

That you will indict yourself?



don't know my rights.

You haven't read me my rights.

That's because...

you are not charged with anything.

Then I can go?


- No.

- I can be held without being charged?


For how long?

48 hours. Seven days, six months,

however long it takes.

Takes for what?

You to tell me what I need.

You mean confess?

Confess to a crime that

may or may not have been committed?

That I may have committed

not knowing it was a crime

or that may not even be a crime yet?

The photograph doesn't do you justice,

you're much more handsome.

Or maybe the word is pretty.


You've certainly been to plenty of places.

Russia, Cyprus.


Israel. You're not Jewish.

Indonesia. Now there's a hotbed of terrorism.

What were you doing there?

- None of your business.

- Sit down.



It's hot in here.

Yes. That time of year.



the best thing to do is to just sweat.

(Tires screeching)

- (Groans) What are you doing?

- Easy, man.

I'll break you up. Get down. Stay down.


All right, buddy, let's go.

Head down.

Right. Come on.

Come on.

Move it.

Come on.

- Watch your head.

- Get in.

- Easy.

- Let's go.

My government has started

fingerprinting foreigners from certain countries.

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Tom Fontana

Tom Fontana (born September 12, 1951 in Buffalo, New York) is an American writer and producer. An Emmy winner, Fontana created NBC's Homicide: Life on the Street and HBO's Oz. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Strip Search" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 18 May 2021. <>.

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