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Paradise Now back to product details

Riveting view from a Palestinian perspective
written by SBarnett September 21, 2006 - 6:39 AM PDT
4 out of 4 members found this review helpful
I watched this film three times and have been thinking about it for days. It completely gets under your skin. Like "Battle of Algiers," it's a film of faces: young men without hope, without a future, virtually imprisoned in the land of their birth and bearing the weight of two generations of armed resistance; a mother who lost her husband and fears losing her son; a young woman grappling with her father's reputation and her own future, as well as the future of her people; a boy delivering tea and looking for a hero; resistance leaders with complex motivations; ordinary Palestinians and Israelis living in the center of a maelstrom. The film has no overt violence, yet it is almost unbearably saturated with physical and psychological crisis. But it is deeply subtle at the same time, filled with the small touches of everyday life, from a conversation about how much sugar people put in their tea to the hidden meaning of a woman covering her head when a man who is not her relative comes into the room. It's a film of marvels: one astounding scene briefly recreates da Vinci's "Last Supper"; another shows a would-be martyr flinching as others eat food his mother prepared for him; another shows the reaction of a group of Palestinians walking along a road when a huge explosion goes off in the distance. The film strives to be objective, not arguing for or against any particular theory or course of action, instead presenting the arguments in a vivid, straightforward way. It definitely takes the "suicide" out of "suicide bombing" by showing that the people who carry them out do so for many reasons, suicide being least among them. And it also confronts the question that cannot be answered: will two angels really come and pick you up after you pull the detonator cord? You will come away from this film looking at the news from the West Bank with completely new eyes. (Read GreenCine's excellent interview with the director.)


(Average 7.54)
63 Votes
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