Dave White
Paradise Now Review

Dave's Rating:


… chilling …

Who's in It: Kais Nashef, Ali Suliman, Lubna Azabal

The Basics: Two Palestinian would-be suicide bombers have second thoughts about exploding themselves and everyone else around them.

What's the Deal? Imagine if you'd sort of said one day, "Yeah, I hate such-and-such, I'd like to blow it up." You didn't really mean it, but you liked talking all big. And right then, the guys in charge went, "OK, you're penciled in on our Blowing-Up-Stuff Calendar to strap a bomb to yourself and blow it up in two months." And then you were like, "Wait, I was just talking theoretically."

Why It's Good: Everybody calls suicide bombers and terrorists "monsters." And it's true, they are. But they're also just regular folks with families and friends and people they love. Movies like this don't apologize for them, but they help the process of figuring out why these killers do what they do, which is a very different thing. So don't read this and go, "Oh, he loves terrorists."

Most Chilling Moment: One of the guys hesitates before getting on his target bus, just long enough to watch a tiny little 5-year-old girl pay her bus fare. Then the camera cuts back to him to show that he's in agony.

How It Messes With Your Mind: It manages, through deliberate, tense pacing, to make you concerned for the bombers' safety.

Always Ask a Woman: The almost-girlfriend of one of the bombers grills him on his ideas about smashing the Israeli state. She's for alternative approaches to Palestinian resistance. He's for organized destruction. Wait, why are men in charge of everything again? Can someone come up with a decent reason that doesn't involve "God says so"?

Moral for Young Men: Always be suspicious of middle-aged guys who cheerlead you on to your death in the glorious struggle for freedom and righteousness. Because you're not going to get any of it. You're going to be dead.


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