Synopsis by Mark Deming
Where does legitimate concern end and paranoia begin? A man finds himself walking that fine line in this tense independent drama. Terry Allen (Peter Krause) is an accountant who lives a seemingly ordinary life until he loses his job. Unable to buy the new house he was hoping to get for his fiancée, Marla (Kari Matchett), Terry spends most of time in his apartment, looking for job leads, sending out resumés, and feeling increasingly powerless. As Terry watches more and more stories about the war on terror on cable news channels, he begins developing an intense suspicion of his new neighbor Gabe Hassan (Khaled Abol Naga), an Arab exchange student. Terry notices Gabe keeps late hours, takes out his trash in the middle of the night, and has a lot of visitors of Middle Eastern descent dropping by his flat, and slowly Terry becomes convinced Gabe is involved in terrorist activities. Terry visits Tom Hillary (Richard Schiff), an FBI agent, and tells him about Gabe and his habits; Tom doesn't pay much attention to what Terry has to say, and convinced danger lurks, he decides to take the law into his own hands. Civic Duty received its world premiere at the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival.
exchange-student, fiancee, neighbor, paranoia, unemployment, FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation), terrorism