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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. ... 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, 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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