Friday, July 07, 2006

Film: Paradise Now

Last night Gustaw and I went to the Queens Film Theatre to check out Hany Abu-Assad's movie about two childhood friends who become suicide bombers. It was orignally slated for release a year ago but was delayed after the 7/7 bombings in London. Since then it's won numerous awards on the festival circuit.

The story tears the viewer between your affection for the bombers, both very likeable characters, and your abhorrence at what they plan to do. The film is a marked contrast to the pro-Israeli 'Munich'. It's a viewpoint not often heard and Abu-Assad seeks to educate the viewer in the motives and mental viewpoints of suicide bombers, as well as the conditions of the Palestinian refugees.

The bombers manipulative handlers are portrayed using religion to propogate their political ends. In one scene a bomber asks his handler 'what will happen after?' The handler thinks for a second and replies 'two angels will come and pick you up', 'are you sure?' the bomber replies, 'yes, quite sure' his handler responds.

A little more background could be given on the Palestinian cause and the referenced refugee camps but all in all it is a very good, well acted and thought provoking movie. In an effort for the west to try to understand the east, this should be compulsory viewing.

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