About a Palestinian girl of 17 who wants to get married to the man of her own choosing. Rana wakes up one morning to an ultimatum delivered by her father: she must either choose a husband ... See full summary »
In Majdal Shams, the largest Druze village in Golan Heights on the Israeli-Syrian border, the Druze bride Mona is engaged to get married with Tallel, a television comedian that works in the... See full summary »
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
When the film was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, much controversy surrounded the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' decision to designate it as a submission from the Palestinian Authority, rather than Palestine. Due to much protestation from writer-director Hany Abu-Assad, the film was eventually announced by Will Smith as being a submission from the Palestinian territories. See more »
When Khaled and and Said are sitting on the rocks waiting to cross the fence, Khaled puts his right hand on Said's shoulder and holds it there. When the shot changes to a different angle, Khaled's right hand is by his side. See more »
Is it true that your father was Abul Azzam? They say he was a hero. You must be very proud of him.
Rather than feeling proud I would prefer that he were alive.
Thanks to what he did our cause is still alive today.
Well there are always other ways to continue the cause.
It's not our option. The occupation picks the direction of the resistance.
Well resistance can go in a lot of directions. But we must realize they we just do not have any military clout here. So we have to find other alternatives...
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PARADISE NOW opens windows of information to those of us who do not live in the Middle East and who toil over understanding the strife that daily bitterly continues, bruising the lives of both ends of the polarity that separates the peoples of the region. Are there ever to be answers or solutions to the crises? For this viewer watching and absorbing PARADISE NOW is illuminating in that it removes the expected political preaching to focus on the minds of the people living under the daily stress of life at its most difficult. Taking us there, making ideas into people with all the convictions and rebelliousness and fragility, writer/director Hany Abu-Assad (with Bero Beyer) offers invaluable insights and in the end we are left with a story about humanity and the consequences of decisions, and the desperate need for peace.
Said (Kais Nashef) and Khaled (Ali Suliman) are childhood friends in Palestine who have been elected to be suicide bombers in an attack on Tel Aviv. Their election to be martyrs for the destruction of the 'invaders' is considered an honor: their deaths will bring glory to their country, their families, and guarantee them instant entry into heaven. We see the two men as citizens living in the dusty hovels, facing barricades and checkpoints that make their lives ones of constant stress. Martyrdom will bring them peace and eternal rest. The entire process of preparing the elected martyrs, from making farewell videotapes for their parents, to having their hair cut short, to having the bombs strapped to their bodies, to dressing them in black suits for the 'wedding' they are instructed to claim to attend in Tel Aviv, to sending them off at the designated spot is relentlessly filmed. Said and Khaled accept their roles although with varying degrees of emotional commitment. At the point where the lads are to begin their martyrdom venture they are separated and the story is how each continues living, each now alone.
The families and the perpetrators of the scheme are well drawn by a strong cast, with one female role Suha (Lubna Azabal) as a voice of reason and peace standing out particularly strongly. The sensitivity of the actors Kais Nashef and Ali Suliman keeps this drama from sinking into politicism and instead allows us to understand the inner turmoil of the two men they portray as they cope with their duties and their lives.This is a powerful document that serves as a plea for peace wherever terrorism is a factor - and now that is global. If more of us could watch and absorb films such as PARADISE NOW perhaps the itinerant boundaries separating mankind by misunderstanding could be reduced without the need for war. Highly Recommended. In Arabic with English subtitles. Grady Harp
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