You'd think the Bush administration would listen to former POW Sen. John McCain when he says that torturing suspected terrorists is not the way to good intel. But nothing seems to stop Uncle Sam from playing the role of international dominatrix. While the Bushies tend to reduce everything to a Rambo flick, the reality is more like The War Within, Joseph Castelo's film about Hassan, a Pakistani-born engineering student turned terrorist who became such only after being tortured by American agents in France.
After their release, Hassan and his former cellmate, Khalid, quietly enter the United States, where they plan to launch a suicide attack on New York City. Under the guise of looking for a job, Hassan locates Sayeed, an old friend from Pakistan who is now living comfortably with his family in the suburbs. Sayeed welcomes Hassan with open arms, giving him a place to stay for as long as he needs. But Hassan's Muslim piety complicates his friendship with Sayeed and his American lifestyle. And to make things more complex, Sayeed's sister falls for Hassan; every waking minute is a struggle to choose between his faith and his friends. Alas, if only the real world were as simple as Bush world. (For a full review of the film, see page 38.) The War Within runs Thursday through Sunday at Cinema Paradiso (503 NE Sixth St., Fort Lauderdale). Call 954-525-FILM, or visit www.cinemaparadiso.org. Jason Budjinski
Carson's at work
Wes Carson doesn't like seeing things go to waste, especially if they'd look good in one of his photographs. Whether it's a random object on the side of the road or a model in a studio, Carson's feathery touches make all subjects equally artistic. After a two-year stint as assistant to New York City fashion photographer Irving Penn, Carson packed his camera bags and moved to South Florida. Now teaching photography at the University of Miami, Carson continues to exhibit his fashion-meets-fine-art photographs. His latest exhibit, "Quiet," takes place from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday at Red Pearl Yoga (918 NE 20th Ave., Fort Lauderdale). The event corresponds with the studio's unveiling of a new clothing line. Call 954-828-1651, or visit www.redpearlyoga.com. Jason Budjinski