in about 100 words or less
Netherlands/Palestine/Israel/Germany/France 90m, Colour
Director: Hany Abu-Assad; Cast: Kais Nashef, Ali Suliman, Lubna Azabal, Hiam Abbass
Paradise Now is a political drama about two Palestinian childhood friends who prepare for a suicide attack against Israel. An unapologetic attempt to humanize the attackers and explore the complexity of their motivations, Abu-Assad portrays the bombers in a sympathetic light as they surreptitiously prepare for their deaths. Despite attempts to honestly portray the bomber’s motivations and even their doubts about carrying out their planned murders, the normalizing of these kinds of actions delivers a duplicitous message, as there can be no rational justification for either murder or suicide (Klaus Ming May 2015).