Paradise Now (2005)
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Critic Reviews for Paradise Now
... it says more about Middle Eastern politics from the Palestinian side than any movie, period.
Certainly what Said says will not come as a surprise to any Israeli. It's simply that they disagree. We may disagree, too, and yet watch the film with a fearsome fascination.
The film offers food for thought, and reminds us that, in any war, one who understands the mindset of his opponent gains an important tactical advantage.
A risk-taking but enlightening film that takes the novel approach of examining the Israeli-Arab impasse from the perspective of the Palestinians.
Audience Reviews for Paradise Now
Why commit suicide? You only lose everything. So what's a good reason? What? Revenge. And so this film looks at the motivation of some Palestinian boys fed up with the powerlessness in their own lives and decide to take matters into their own hands. Interesting and original, if simplistic.
Two Palestinian would-be suicide bombers get separated after their plot goes wrong. From the Palestinian perspective, there are few films that do their side of the conflict better than Paradise Now. Directors Hany Abu-Assad and Amedeo Pagani exhibit fearless filmmaking; they don't balk at choosing suicide bombers as their heroes and attempt to fully explore the conditions that would drive people to such extremes. We get the spouting rhetoric of the violent resistance's leaders, the war-torn landscapes, and some - though not enough - of the examples of how Israel's occupation affects the Palestinians' daily lives. The performances by the two leads, Kais Nashef and Ali Suliman, are fantastic. Especially after his haircut, Nashef reminded me of an Arab Clive Owen with his intense, piercing stare and his determined walk. Lubna Azabal plays "girl," but she does it fairly well. I thought the film did devolve into a reading of Fanon versus Gandhi post-colonial theory during the conversation between Suha and Khaled; this was the only time when I thought that the film's political analysis was not rooted in the characters. And I thought that Khaled's transformation wasn't portrayed completely; there certainly needed to be more steps along the way. Overall, for anyone interested in why political power players constantly discuss Israel and Palestine, this is an important film, and if you aren't interested in this conflict, you should be.
Unfortunately, I could neither relate to it, nor did I find it entertaining (but I suppose it wasn't meant to entertain). However, it wasn't too lengthy & the 90-something-minutes duration made it fairly watchable/bearable.
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