Independence Day

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Independence Day is a 1996 American science fiction action disaster film directed by Roland Emmerich and written by Emmerich and Dean Devlin. It stars an ensemble cast that includes Will Smith, Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum, Mary McDonnell, Judd Hirsch, Margaret Colin, Randy Quaid, Robert Loggia, James Rebhorn, Harvey Fierstein, and Harry Connick.

While promoting Stargate in Europe, Emmerich conceived the film while answering a question about his belief in the existence of alien life. He and Devlin decided to incorporate a large-scale attack having noticed that aliens in most invasion films travel long distances in outer space only to remain hidden when reaching Earth. Shooting began in July 1995 in New York City, and the film was completed on June 20, 1996.

On July 2, 1996, an enormous alien mothership arrives in the orbit of the Earth and deploys multiple saucers, each fifteen miles wide that take positions over Earth’s major cities.

David Levinson, an MIT-trained satellite technician, decodes a signal embedded within global satellite transmissions, realising it is the aliens’ countdown timer for a coordinated attack. With help from his ex-wife, White House Communications Director Constance Spano, David and his father Julius gain access to the Oval Office and alert President Thomas Whitmore to the threat.

The idea for the film came when Emmerich and Devlin were in Europe promoting their film Stargate. A reporter asked Emmerich why he made a film with content like Stargate if he did not believe in aliens. Emmerich stated he was still fascinated by the idea of an alien arrival, and further explained his response by asking the reporter to imagine what it would be like to wake up one morning and to discover 15-mile-wide spaceships were hovering over the world’s largest cities. Emmerich then turned to Devlin and said, “I think I have an idea for our next film.”

In Lebanon, certain Jewish- and Israel-related content in the film was censored.

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