Sally Potter began writing her fourth feature film on Sept. 12, 2001, facing the same quandary that stifled other artists: What could she say in the aftermath of a trauma sure to deepen the rift between the West and the Arab world? Potter followed the lead of Alain Resnais, whose HIROSHIMA, MON AMOUR (1960) explored post-traumatic tensions between East and West through an erotic encounter between a man and a woman. Potter's nameless lovers are a Lebanese man, referred to as "He," and "She," an Irish-born American woman. Once a surgeon, He (Simon Abkarian) works as a sous-chef in an embassy kitchen in London. Well-to-do research-scientist She (a superb Joan Allen) is ...