Israel’s brazen display of might is the only practical modus operandi for survival in the intensely hostile environment around them. However, that said, newspapers rarely provide us the other side of the story, especially why the Palestinian (or Islamic) suicide bombers do what they do. Hany Abu-Assad’s Paradise Nowtries doing that, and the end result is a movie filled as much with seething anger as it is with empathy. The movie begins with the lives of two Palestinian youths, the laconic and perpetually sulking Said, and his temperamental but more jovial buddy Khaled, working as car mechanics, and living impoverished but dignified existences in a region filled with hatred and violence. Soon enough, though, we are shocked to find that these two otherwise ‘normal’ and regular guys are planning to avenge the so-called wrongs done to them by volunteering to act as human bombs in Tel Aviv for an underground terrorist group. The subject thus is potent and real, and has largely been presented without the aid of jingoisms. Khaled’s final transition from fundamentalism to rationale is too quick to be really believable; but the director more than made up for that by serving us a haunting climax that packs quite a punch – its effect might not be bulldozer stuff, but quietly provides a more than palpable impact in its reconfirmation of the vicious cycle of violence.
Director: Hany Abu-Assad Genre: Drama/Psychological Drama/Political Drama Language: Arabic Country: Palestine