The popularity of the subject of terrorism in the Hollywood cultural machine in recent years suggests that we have entered a new phase in the ongoing drama of the nation. Fears of the fragmented nation are no longer the unique preoccupation of third world intellectuals and politicians, but have struck at the heart of the first world itself, as the recent spate of Hollywood films dealing with terrorism suggests. Arlington Road (1999), The Siege (1998), Executive Decision (1996), Naked Gun (1988), Die Hard (1988), Die Hard 2 (1988), Under Siege (1992), Passenger 57 (1992), all show how both internal and external forces threaten the lives of ordinary Americans and that American national identity, perhaps for the first time in its cultural history, can no longer be taken as a given.1 Concurrently, at the other end of the artistic and geographical spectrum, the 1999 Human Rights Film Festival held in New York recently featured a film called The Terrorist by Indian cinematographer-turned-director, Santosh Sivan. Inspired by the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi by a female suicide bomber, this feature film is a laboured attempt at a psychological portrayal of the modern-day terrorist and the culture of violence in which she is caught. Coupled with the almost routine media reports of terrorist acts in different parts of the world, the spectacularisation of terrorist violence, in an ironic twist, is now a constitutive part of the global imaginary. What this tendency makes evident is that we now need a theory of fragmentation and its cultural imagining to supplement Benedict Anderson’s theory of nationally imagined communities. Hollywood’s forays into an area that is marked by anguish and fear and its processing of the putative thrills of terrorism as action drama may be said to capture the antithetical emotions that attach to the subject and the intense debates generated within nations which see themselves as besieged by internal and external enemies.