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October 27, 2005

Talk About a Sleeper

While in Washington recently, I saw a new film called "The War Within." After sitting though any number of movies where members of the audience laugh at inappropriate moments -- especially scenes of cruelty and violence -- it was refreshing to be among film-goers who seemed genuinely sobered and moved by what they were watching.

Why? This is the most powerful depiction I have seen of contemporary terrorism. It's the story of a young Pakistani studying in Paris who becomes a suicide bomber after being arrested by American agents and "rendered" to Pakistan for torture.

Now, my expert informants tell me that very few torture victims become terrorists, which makes sense in a way. But the proximate cause of the young man's decision is less important than the ambivalence he experiences upon arriving in New York and witnessing the life of an old boyhood friend and his family. Their happiness attracts and repels him in equal measure, and his inner conflict is exquisitely portrayed.

Maybe I'll write more about this, but in the meantime, go see this film if it is anywhere near you, because it won't be in the theaters long. It opened in New York, got a tepid and evasive review from the Times, then disappeared. If you know why, please write and tell me.

Posted by mbayles at October 27, 2005 8:53 AM


I have not seen this movie but I object already to your description of the terrorist. Did Jews become terrorists because of the Nazis. Do you see black people bombing white people because of what was done to us? And if black people had attempted such things, what do you would have happened to us. I completely object to the liberal attitute of any sympathy towards muslim terrorists. Once you accept the viewpoint that any body badly treated by anyone else is entitled to set of bombs, no school , nor church, no street corner, nothing will be safe. Everybody has a grievance, not just those to whom liberals are sympathetic. If it's somehow okay for a muslim to blow up Macy's, why is not okay in the same way for another McVeigh to blow up the ACLU office or a black church or anything he does not like. There is an infinite amount of people who are oppressed or think they are oppressed. And if they think they are who can tell them they are not? Are liberals going to set up a court where it will be decided who is entitled to be a terrorist. I remind all liberals that terrorism hurts most of all the poor and oppressed. Western liberals will be able to make themselves safe from it. Most people can't. I will not be able to arrange my life to avoid terrorism. I have to shop at supermakrets, and use the trains and buses.

Posted by: Anita at October 31, 2005 11:59 AM