Release date:September 30, 2005
(NY; LA release: October 7)
MPAA Rating:R (for violent images, some language and nudity)
Screenwriters:Ayad Akhtar, Joseph Castelo, Tom Glynn
Starring:Ayad Akhtar, Nandana Sen, Firdous Bamji, Sarita Choudhury, Charles David Sandoval, John Ventimiglia, Samrat Chakrabarti, Aasif Mandvi, Ajay Naidu, Kamal Marayati, Mike McGlone
Written and directed by first time filmmaker Joseph Castelo, "The War Within" is the story of Hassan, (Ayad Akhtar in his debut performance), a Pakistani engineering student in Paris who is mistakenly apprehended for terrorist activities and forcibly interrogated by U.S. intelligence services. So shaken by the experience, he vows revenge and joins a terrorist cell based in New York City with plans to begin the ground war in the United States. On the morning the attack is due to take place, all members of the cell are arrested except Hassan and one other member. With no alternative and nowhere else to turn, Hassan must rely on the hospitality of his former best friend Sayeed, who is living the American dream with his family in New Jersey. Lying to his friend about why he is in the US, Sayeed helps Hassan get a job driving a livery cab which furnishes Hassan with the money he needs to start manufacturing explosives in the hope of achieving a smaller but still effective act of terror. With each day that passes, we witness Hassan's religious beliefs as they clash headlong with his feelings for Sayeed's sister Duri, Sayeed, and the rest of the family. What unfolds is a profound human and political drama as we explore Hassan's motives as he struggles to carry out his mission.