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Paradise Now
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Paradise Now More at IMDbPro »

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150 out of 171 people found the following review useful:

Had me thinking....

9/10
Author: cyberent from United States
16 January 2006

I can't add much more that hasn't already been said here previously. I walked into the theater expecting an obvious ending but was somewhat surprised with the slightly interesting twist on one of the characters. It's not hard to imagine that if a commercial Hollywood blockbuster studio had done this film, they would have chosen a less cerebral approach and added a pointless car chase and spectacular special effects with poorly cast big names. Fortunately this independent film chose to focus on the psychological and ideological elements of this complicated predicament that is very much a reality today. Nor was there a pretentious political statement here, just an unbiased view of how these people see things. I found myself sympathizing with the main characters at some point, something I never felt I could ever do. But it certainly had me questioning my own character. If I had been raised under the same circumstances, what would I do? Rarely does a film do this to me.... A very powerful film that Hollywood would never ever make. Highly recommended.

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171 out of 224 people found the following review useful:

many reasons this is a must-see!

10/10
Author: rdodin from United States
30 October 2005

Paradise Now is an authentic film that poetically deals with one of the most prickly and difficult issues facing the world today. It is a natural and elegant film, which leaves you thinking and feeling in ways you did not expect. For those who say that such a movie should not be shown, or that there is no value in pondering such topics from this viewpoint - my response is that open awareness and the exchange of ideas is the beginning of a solution. You cannot suppress reality, or freedom of speech and expression. This film vividly demonstrates that life is not black and white - we live in shades of gray. This is a perspective that should be seen, and deserves to be shown.

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158 out of 199 people found the following review useful:

powerful film

9/10
Author: skyritz from United States
6 October 2005

I thought this was a very powerful and well-made film. The acting was excellent, as are the script, direction, and cinematography. Perhaps the biggest challenge with a film on such a controversial topic is what position it takes, but as a moderate American Jew, I felt it took as objective a position as possible. It does not push one side or another, but merely tells one story about two men chosen for a suicide bombing mission. I was concerned there might be an attempt to get the viewer to sympathize with the would-be bombers, but did not find that to be the case. Ultimately, the story leads you to sympathize with the families and friends of these men, demonizes those who have led them down this path, and simply humanizes the men themselves. There have been some criticisms of the film for focusing too much on Palestinians and essentially reducing the Israelis in the film to background and setting, but I think this was necessary. This is not a documentary about suicide bombings; it is the story of two of the suicide bombers themselves.

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109 out of 143 people found the following review useful:

Paradise lost

8/10
Author: jotix100 from New York
20 November 2005

"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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97 out of 137 people found the following review useful:

Brilliant movie

10/10
Author: Jackie S (telescopium) from United States
25 October 2005

This film was so interesting. I am not a big fan of subtitles usually, but there was many points when the movie was so captivating that I forgot they were there.

I was shown from a terribly unique viewpoint in compared to any other movie I have seen on the topic. It approached a very difficult subject with brazen honesty and straight forwardness.

I really loved it. The director was brilliant. The use of certain symbolism and the comparison to the last supper was amazing I thought. I loved how it took something from a different religion and how their beliefs while so different in so many ways comes to a basic belief.

The camera work and the portrayal of so much at times where there were no words was awesome.

This movie is definitely worth it. Even if only to gain a viewpoint that is different from your own. I think that you will come away with a lot more then that.

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63 out of 83 people found the following review useful:

PARADISE NOW...The Face of Human Tragedy

8/10
Author: screenwriter-14 from United States
5 November 2005

PARADISE NOW, like THE WAR WITHIN, educates an American audience on the tragedy of the complex battle of "Arab vs. Jew" and does so in a film that brings this struggle home to the West Bank and gives us a picture of two friends selected to carry out revenge for the death of fellow Palestinians. Well constructed, realistic, informative and yes, even humanistic in presenting us with characters that we would immediately disregard with hatred and contempt.

The journey taken by the friends is painful, personal and disturbing, in that the killing of Jews will only extend the bombings and killings of more Palestinians within the West Bank. PARADISE NOW shows us that the historical roots of hatred between Arab and Jew is one that will never go away, and the film points out this factor visually in building to the final scene on the bus in Tel Aviv. When the camera narrows down to the eyes of the bomber, surrounded by healthy, happy Israeli soldiers, the intense moment of self destruction is inevitable.

The shots of Tel Aviv, the West Bank, the excellent cast, direction and writing and development of the characters makes PARADISE NOW a very important film to see in 2005.

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102 out of 162 people found the following review useful:

Brilliant film about tense subject

10/10
Author: admania from Netherlands
21 February 2005

Very powerful film that goes beyond the obvious, delivering a strong insight into a difficult subject, while maintaining a tension and drama that makes it impossible not to be stirred by the film. Delivering a film without falling into the pitfalls of political correctness or propaganda is an achievement in itself.

A must see for anyone.

A strong cast and powerful photography in a film that was long overdue. Strong script, powerful performances by the entire cast, excellent photography and a story that will stay with you long after you have left the cinema.

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40 out of 45 people found the following review useful:

Boundaries, Checkpoints, and Martyrdom

8/10
Author: gradyharp from United States
25 March 2006

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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57 out of 86 people found the following review useful:

A must see for everyone.

7/10
Author: Zzazza from United States
10 November 2005

Paradise now is a very realistic film about the Israel-Palestine conflict. Therefore it's a very contemporary film concerning a topic that still receives a lot of media attention.

The film follows Said and Khaled, two friends who are recruited for a suicide bombing in Tel-Aviv. However, something goes wrong and the attack is postponed. Said and Khaled now have the time to think about what they are going to do.

The feelings of the two leading characters are carefully explained and brought to you very realistically by an outstanding performance of Ali Suliman and Kais Nashef. Though it's a little long-winded in the end the story is excellently written. The film explains a difficult situation without taking a stand or forcing you to do so. People who've seen this film will hopefully better understand the Israel-Palestine situation.

Conclusion: Paradise Now is a brilliantly made movie and a must see for everyone.

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40 out of 58 people found the following review useful:

Good or Bad movie?

9/10
Author: (samwrites-1) from United States
17 January 2006

Being Pro-Israeli, I was not expecting to like the film. However, I was pleasantly surprised at this funny, well-paced political thriller. It made me think but not necessarily change all my views. Being open-minded, I will watch other movies by this talented director. it deserved all the awards that it received and was nominated for. Especially the 2006 Golden Globe for Best Foreign Film. I did not feel like the movie was one-sided. The director does not sugar coat what the characters do. Controversial just like Monster and Syriana among others. I have never seen these actors before but it was some of the best acting I've seen. What initially got me to see it was the great reviews that it received and the controversy.

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