7.4/10
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Paradise Now (2005)

Trailer
2:30 | Trailer
Two childhood friends are recruited for a suicide bombing in Tel Aviv.

Director:

Hany Abu-Assad
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 13 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Lubna Azabal ... Suha
Hamza Abu-Aiaash Hamza Abu-Aiaash ... Checkpoint Soldier
Kais Nashif ... Said
Lutuf Nouasser ... Car Owner (as Lotuf Neusser)
Ali Suliman ... Khaled
Mohammad Bustami Mohammad Bustami ... Abu-Salim
Ahmad Fares Ahmad Fares ... Tea Boy
Waleed On-Allah Waleed On-Allah ... Taxidriver Suha
Asaad Dwikat Asaad Dwikat ... Shawarma Shop Owner
Imad Saber Imad Saber ... Shawarma Customer
Mohammad Kosa Mohammad Kosa ... Photographer
Amer Hlehel Amer Hlehel ... Jamal
Hiam Abbass ... Said's Mother
Nour Abd El-Hadi Nour Abd El-Hadi ... Said's Sister
Amjad Al-Imlah Amjad Al-Imlah ... Said's Brother
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Storyline

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 Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

In the next 36 hours, two childhood friends may do the unthinkable. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material and brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Language:

Arabic | English

Release Date:

18 November 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El paraíso ahora See more »

Filming Locations:

Israel See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$48,023, 30 October 2005

Gross USA:

$1,457,843

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,579,902
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jina Sumedi wrote an original score for the film that ultimately was not used. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Said: Is it true that your father was Abul Azzam? They say he was a hero. You must be very proud of him.
Suha: Rather than feeling proud I would prefer that he were alive.
Said: Thanks to what he did our cause is still alive today.
Suha: Well there are always other ways to continue the cause.
Said: It's not our option. The occupation picks the direction of the resistance.
Suha: 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...
Said:
Suha:
See more »

Connections

Featured in Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Boundaries, Checkpoints, and Martyrdom
25 March 2006 | by gradyharpSee all my reviews

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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