Paradise Now and the Effects of Suicide Bombers in the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict

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The film, Paradise Now, which was directed by Hany Abu-Assad and released on November 18th, 2005, tells the story of the last two days spent between two best friends who are recruited into becoming suicide bombers in Tel Aviv. Said and Khaled are two Palestinian mechanics who spend much of their time together as they try to help to provide for their families. On one fateful day, they are both recruited by an unspecified political group and to go on a mission across the Palestinian and Israeli border and to act as suicide bombers to demonstrate the group’s belief of being oppressed by the Israelis.

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As they go on their mission after being prepped by the political group and make videos to explain why they individually are committed to this mission, Said and Khaled are eventually separated. While they are apart, Khaled eventually finds his way back into the groups base while Said starts to grow in his doubt of being a part of the mission. Said goes to talk to Suha, a girl that Said develops feelings for throughout the film, he is eventually found by the group and they plan to carry out the mission the next day.

As they make a second attempt for the mission, Khaled suddenly has a change of heart and decides to back out and pleads with Said to do the same. Said decides at that point to carry out the mission alone and he is successful by the end of the film. Paradise Now is a film that depicts the real-life beliefs and the process that many suicide bombers in places such as the middle east go through not only in the recent past of 2005 but even the methods that are used now. Hany Abu-Assad’s film depicts the violence between the countries of Palestine and Israel and provides his own personal commentary on this conflict and the terrorists who commit these actions by not letting the audience sympathy with the characters, but rather letting them feel pity towards them. The film also vaguely gives the opportunity for the audience to see how these suicide bombers are chosen, prepare and go to fulfill their violent missions to demonstrate to others how they feel about their personal political beliefs. However, when we watch the film and see this story unfold in front of our eyes, we must wonder in our minds how did these people come into this position of needing to demonstrate their political beliefs in the dramatic and grotesque fashion and what effect do their actions have on creating their want and need for political change. By using this film’s depiction of the real-life conflict between Palestine and Israel, we the audience almost have a responsibility into understanding and finding out what caused this conflict to first occur,

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