Paradise Now (2005) - Plot Summary Poster



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  • Two childhood friends are recruited for a suicide bombing in Tel Aviv.

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • A resident of Palestine, Khaled is a slacker who works as a motor mechanic and is often rude to customers. He eventually gets fired, and he, along with his co-worker, Said, end up getting recruited by Jamal to carry out a suicide mission in Tel Aviv. Both men are bathed, shaved, and made to look like Israeli settlers, they are then strapped with explosives, and dressed in dark suits. Enroute on their deadly mission, both men get separated, their operation gets compromised, and Said goes missing. With accusation of betrayal, Khaled sets off to try and locate his friend, and if possible, finish their mission.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • In Nablus, on the West Bank, there live two friends whove known each other for years. Said and Khaled, two Palestinian people, whove experienced living under another nations rule for their whole lives. They feel oppression, humiliation and consider themselves prisoners in their own land. As soon as a friend presents to them an opportunity to avenge their way of life, the filmmaker follows their steps as they prepare themselves for their final act of resistance, a suicide mission in Tel-Aviv.

    The movie focuses on the views of the two friends, and the people who accompany them during their final day. The men get ready to strike, and while they get shaven to look like Jewish settlers, they record their martyr video messages and converse about Koran passages. When they cross the fence to get into Israel, Said and Khaled are split up due to an Israeli patrol. Back at the Palestinian side of the fence, they keep searching each other, while Khaled silently grows doubts about what they are about to do.

    His doubts get encouraged by Suha, a modern Palestinian girl and the daughter of a well known martyr. She likes Said, but is unable to get trough to his feelings about his mission. After Khaled and Suha find Said at night, the two friends later decide to continue with their mission regardless of Suhas and Khaleds reservations. While in Tel-Aviv the next day, Khaleds doubts overcome him though and he wants to back out after all. Said needs to go on alone, and is to fulfil the mission to its end

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