Paradise Now

   30 November 2005, early morning

I watched Paradise Now last night with Heather and Ben. The movie follows the paths two suicide bombers, Said and Kahled, take the day before they will blow themselves up in Tel Aviv. I was very impressed with the movie. There are a lot of really great scenes; the film was shot really well. (There is a really cool last supper shot, which you should recognize instantly if you watch the movie.) The acting was excellent; both Suicide bombers give compelling performances. Really, everyone does a great job: Said’s mother, the leader of the group behind the bombing, the fellow sent to recruit the boys. I found Said’s final monologue quite moving. The final moments in the film are quite powerful. The theater was totally silent when the film ended. I don’t think I’ve left a theatre that was so quiet after a film concluded.

The movie doesn’t really come out on either side of the argument as to whether a violent struggle is legitimate or not. The voice for a non-violent solution in the film comes from Suha, the daughter of who we are led to believe was a martyr. (She’s played by the very sexy Lubna Azabal.) Said and most of the other characters in the film present the other viewpoint. That question is never really resolved during the movie. One point that Paradise Now does argue to a conclusion is that blowing yourself up for a cause is not the result of fanaticism or religiosity, but an act of desperation and frustration with life. The two bombers feel that only in death can their lives derive any meaning. And the irony there doesn’t seem lost on them. It’s a depressing movie, covering a depressing subject.

Watch this movie.

The official Paradise Now web site.



  1. you should watch “The Terrorist” by Santhosh Sivan. it’s similar.

  2. Yeah, I missed it when it played at the film festival here. I’ve wanted to see it for a while now.

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