The War WithinOnce again the husband managed to score some free tickets for the screening of an independent movie prior to its release in DC. The movie this time was The War Within, which tells the story of a Pakistani man who travels to the US with the express intent of launching a suicide attack in the heart of New York City. The movie takes the viewer inside the mind of the man — Hassan — examining the complexities and circumstances that led him to decide to attack the US.

The movie itself is controversial, dealing with life in the post 9/11 era and its consequences. The director/co-writer worked hard to balance the movie by telling the story without inflicting any kind of strong stereotyping or making generalizations about any race or group. The film showed a wide spectrum of the Pakistani community living the US, highlighting some that were infatuated with American ideologies as well as those who firecely opposed them.

According to the director, who spoke to the audience after the screening in a Q & A session, the movie was given the green light by the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee, who called the movie “balanced." What I liked about the movie was the superb acting of Ayad Akhtar, who played Hassan. I also tremendously appreciated the script, which felt more real and convincing than other attempts to deal with the issue of terrorism, such as 24 for example.

I wonder if the movie will cause an uproar after its mainstream release. Objections might come from both sides: from those who might think the movie depicts Muslims in a negative way and from those that might believe the film sympathizes with the bomber.