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In Nablas on the West Bank, Said and Khaled, who have volunteered to be suicide bombers, receive word it will be tomorrow - the cell's first operation in two years. They're shaven and shorn, in black suits to pose as settlers in Tel Aviv for a wedding. Something goes wrong at the crossing, they're separated, and the action is postponed, long enough for renewed questioning of what they're about to do. Suha, the well-educated and well-traveled daughter of a martyr, challenges the action. She likes Said and has her own ideas. "Under the occupation, we're already dead," is Khaled's analysis. Fate and God's will seem to drive Said. We must be moral, argues Suha. Can minds change? Written by
Jina Sumedi wrote an original score for the film that ultimately was not used. See more »
When Khaled makes his speech for the second time, two of the people watching him are eating pitta. The man with the purple T-shirt is holding the pitta with his right hand in one shot, with his left in the next. See more »
"Paradise Now" is a rare film in which one sees another angle to the Middle East conflict first hand. In fact, the movie is non violent while making its point, something, that in another director's hands, would have taken a different path.
Director Hani Abu Assad takes us behind the scenes as two young men are being asked to perform the most daring act in order to make a statement to the enemy, give up their own lives! Mr. Assad takes us along as this pair prepares for what could be their last day on earth. In fact, one of the things that have always puzzled us is the idea that the young people giving their own lives, go to their deaths so quietly, and without any questions posed to the leaders that are asking for their sacrifice.
We watch as the two good friends, Said and Khaled spend the last night with their families, not even giving a hint of what they are about to do. Later, in a scene that reminded us of "The Last Supper", Said and Khaled sit with the leader of their group to partake their last meal. Then, we watch as they both are transformed to resemble their own enemy.
The two young leads, Kais Nashef and Ali Suliman are perfect in their roles. Lubna Azabal, is seen as a young Moroccan woman who has met the pair at the garage where they worked and seems to act as their conscience because she makes them reflect on the deed they are going to perform.
"Paradise Now" points to a lot of the causes for the problems in the region where the contrast between the two sides is like day and night. Nablas, the town where Said and Khaled live could well be in another planet, while Tel Aviv, with its skyscrapers, modernity and order, is perhaps, the paradise they are searching for.
The film is worth a look since it is a different account about the tragedy in that part of the world.
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