Sunday, July 31, 2005

Paradise Now

We went to see Paradise Now on Tuesday night (26th July), and we had seats in our favourite row, row L. Topically, this was a film about suicide bombers but it didn't seem to be a topic Wellingtonians were keen to explore as there were only about 200 people there (the Embassy holds about 700).

Those who stayed away missed a great film! It was shot in Nablus on the West Bank. Two young motor mechanics, Said and Khaled, are chosen to be the heroes on a suicide mission to Tel Aviv and it follows them for the couple of days leading up to the event. It is well-acted and superbly tense and the plot didn't follow the path I was expecting. There are all sorts of great touches - the bomb-maker with no hands; some of the team helpfully eating Khaled's pita bread sandwiches while he's being videoed making his martyr's speech; Said's Mother reading his coffee grounds at breakfast time and saying "you don't appear to have a future".

There were good contrasts too - the huge one between Tel Aviv's well-maintained modernity, and Nablus' ramshackle antiquity; and the philosophical contrast between those characters in the film who believed that violence was the solution to the Israeli occupation and those who didn't.

The ninety minutes flew by, and after the stunning ending the credits rolled in absolute silence. Gradually, everyone picked their jaws up off the floor and filed out.

Anne's rating 5/5; Ian's rating 4/5

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