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#254 Paradise Now

(2005, Hany Abu-Assad)
“You cannot alter your fate. There is no other way. It’s God’s will.”

There are few political subjects as touchy as the Israeli-Palestine conflict, which has been raging for an exceptionally long time. I’m not going to sit here and pretend to know a lot about it, since much of the information about the conflict is confusing and it’s hard to know what’s what within the whole situation. So perhaps a movie from the Palestinian perspective might help. Enter Paradise Now, a movie about reluctant suicide bombers in the region.

This will be the second movie I’ve reviewed that focused on suicide bombers, and it’s probably equally as controversial as Four Lions, albeit for very different reasons. While Four Lions used suicide bombings as a framework for a modern caper comedy, Paradise Now is an attempt to show the human side of these attacks.

Since I’m not all that knowledgeable on the political situation that the film has spawned from, I’ll be focusing on the movie as a piece of drama rather than the political arguments it raises. This is going to be a tricky one.

The movie focuses on childhood friends Said (Kais Nashef) and Khaled (Ali Suliman), who have been recruited by an unnamed terrorist group to perform suicide bombings in Israel. Over the next couple of days, they prepare for the attack, while a woman named Suha (Lubna Azabal) attempts to convince them to back out.

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