The opera tells the true story of the hijacking of the passenger liner Achille Lauro by the Palestine Liberation Front in 1985, and the resulting death of Jewish-American passenger Leon Klinghoffer. It was the center of a great controversy when it was performed in the United States in late 1991 and early 1992. The DVD is the Channel 4 television version, with the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Adams, was directed by Penny Woolcock in 2003.
This isn't easy viewing in terms of content but the resonances between the events of 9/11 and here are very interesting. The various abstract arias overlaid with news footage and created scenes are moving, striking and articulate the displaced Palestianian refugees and also the displaced Jewish survivors of the Holocaust.
Adams' opera is spare, taut and every moment is essential viewing. This isn't something to be passive watching this is something that requires effort and attention.