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The War Within (2005)The War Within (2005)

How does a normal Pakistani engineering student who graduated from the University of Maryland, then studied in Paris, become a suicide bomber with a plan to bomb Grand Central Station? The War Within tries to imagine one scenario through its main character Hassan, who is kidnapped off the streets of Paris by Western agents, tortured in prison, and ends up in New York City as a radicalized Muslim. His friends there, Pakistanis enjoying all the forbidden pleasures of secularized America, barely recognize the new Hassan. "Man," asks his childhood friend Sayeed, "what has happened to you?" After their first, grandiose terrorist plot fails, Hassan must decide whether and how he will still carry out a smaller, deeply personal mission. This is complicated but not ultimately compromised by a love for Sayeed's sister Duri that Hassan refuses to embrace or enjoy. Thus his ultimate jihad, the personal war within his psyche and how it will externalize itself in his actions. This is a good film, but not as good as the Palestinian version on the same theme called Paradise Now.

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