Palestinians Said and Khaled, now in young adulthood, have been lifelong friends living in Nablus in the West Bank. They have both had what they consider a difficult life, now working side-by-side in unfulfilling jobs as auto mechanics in a small garage, being unfulfilling as difficult as the jobs were to get. Those difficult lives includes feeling like they are prisoners in the West Bank, Said who has only left the region once on a medical issue when he was six. They blame all their problems on the oppression by the Israelis. As such, they have volunteered and have been accepted by a Palestinian resistance group to carry out a suicide bombing mission in Tel Aviv: after the initial response to the first bomb, the second bomb would be detonated at the same site. Following the bombing, the resistance group would release pre-taped video messages of Said and Khaled confessing to the bombing in the name of God. The mission would require Said and Khaled to cross "illegally" into Israel. They are not afraid of death in light of their deaths having some meaning, and in feeling like their lives are like being dead anyway. In the process of carrying out the mission, they end up being separated which could jeopardize not only the mission but their individual lives without their death being in the name of a cause, that is if they cannot locate each other. In this their time apart, Said and Khaled may have time to think about what they are about to do, their thoughts not only shaped by their different family histories, but Said's budding friendship/romance with a young woman named Suha, the daughter of a wealthy and famed Palestinian, she who has only recently moved back to the West Bank after years living overseas. —Huggo
many reasons this is a must-see!
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.
- Oct 30, 2005
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