Winter 2006 Edge series
Sunday, February 12, 2006 at 4:00pm
Sunday, February 12, 2006 at 7:00pm
Rated NR ·
Hany Abu-Assad’s stirring new film Paradise Now screened at the 2005 Toronto International Film Festival to critical and popular acclaim and won numerous awards, including the prestigious Blue Angel and Amnesty International Film Prize at the Berlin International Film Festival.
Inspired by the often gruesome reality of life in the contemporary Middle East, Abu-Assad dramatizes the Palestinian struggle by focusing on the lives of two would-be suicide bombers. The entire story takes place in what could possibly be the last forty-eight hours of their lives. These two young men have been friends their whole lives, and both have recently been recruited to set off a bomb in Israel.
After the planning is complete, they set off to cross the very heavily-secured border into Israel. Not surprisingly, they are stopped and forced into interrogation. While there, they meet a young woman who feels very passionately that they are making a big mistake. She pleads with them to reconsider, but is met with equal fervour on the men’s side. With hours to go before the mission is to be completed, suspense continues to build, and no one—including the parties involved—knows what the outcome will be.
Opting to avoid emotional contrivances, Abu-Assad lets the natural tensions and drama emerge through the actors’ startlingly organic performances. Paradise Now, which handles very sensitive subject matter in an elegant, thought-provoking and highly moving way, will not leave audiences untouched.