Wednesday, June 22, 2016

984. Paradise Now

Paradise Now
Directed by Hany Abu-Assad

I was dreading writing this review, as it seems almost impossible to write about a movie like this without accompanying it with a well researched political thesis.  I don't particularly feel like writing a term paper or sharing my views on this platform.  So I will try to keep my comments concentrated on the film, even though the point of this movie is clearly to get people to think of the larger issues.

Said and Khaled are Palestinian childhood friends who have been recruited for suicide attacks in Tel Aviv.  They are both fitted with bombs that can only be removed with special keys that their handlers have.  They are both assured that they will be hailed as heroes and find paradise is the next life.  However, their mission goes slightly awry and Said gets separated from the group, which convinces the others that he is a traitor.  Both men brood over what the right thing to do is and surprisingly enough, the answer isn't clear to either of them.

I found this film fascinating, although I didn't sympathize with the main leads as much as I was expecting to.  That is not to say I was expecting to be on the side of the suicide bombers, but I went in thinking the entire point of the film was going to be to make us sympathize with our main characters.  I spent the entire movie being disgusted by Khaled and Said, who each seemed to possess their own special cowardice.

So upsetting, but interesting and I guess I will end it there.

RATING: ****-

Interesting Facts:

First Palestinian film to be nominated for an Academy Award.

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