søndag 22. juli 2012

"To Be or Not To Be"


Year: 2005
Country: Palestinian Territories/France/Germany/Netherlands/Israel
Language: Arabic
Number: 1033
Director: Hany Abu-Assad
Starring: Kais Nashef, Ali Suliman, Lubna Azabal, Hiam Abbass
Oscar nom: Best Foreign Language Film
IMDb: 7.5
RT score: 89%

Hany Abu-Assad's Paradise Now is an amazing film that takes us deep into the Palestinian society, where every one is portrayed as human beings. Roger Ebert said something clever to some one who criticized him for "humanizing those animals". Ebert replied that by calling them animals they think exactly the way we think about them. It's not a movie that chooses a side, but it certainly shows us that these are not the monsters, but humans with all the emotions intact, with their fears and doubts.

We follows two young palestinian mechanics and best friends, Said and Khaled, who both have decided to enlist as suicide bombers to bomb Israeli targets in Tel-Aviv by dressing up like Israeli civilians, wearing black suits. But the plan doesn't goes as planned, when they trying to sneak out via the border fence, and they run in different directions to hide from the israeli guard patrol. It's a crazy day, and it's seems like their mission isn't going to be pulled off, while the the two friends try to find where the other person is. They might even have a second thought about the whole operation.

This film is a great study of the human mind, and the inner conflicts they have because of their insecureness about their mission. But it's also kind of surprising that these two ordinary men, with an ordinary job, who seems not to be very religious, who sits in the sun, smoking on a water pipe and drinking tea, becomes suicide bombers in the first place. Every character is three dimensional, every one has empathy for each other, and even ask questions about the situation and the conflict itself.

Paradise Now also has some funny moments. like when Khaled is giving his speech in a video statement, and the camera man have forgotten to record it. Or when Khaled is complaining about the tape around his body is to tight, when the fact is that they are never going to take them off anyway. This comical undertone destroys the myth of the well organized evil terror network. What a genius film that gives us the palestinians point of view, and how bad the situation really is. The acting is absolutely superb with real blood, sweat and tears, with great dialogues and realistic outbursts. This is truly the best film about the Israeli-Palestine conflict.

Grade: A

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