Reading Movies

Feb 13, 2006 09:14 # 41818

null tells about...

Paradise Now

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(This might be interesting for people who've been partaking in this discussion)

- A day in the mind of a suicide bomber -

The two Palestinians Khaled and Sad have been good friends since childhood. Now they've been chosen to blow themselves up in Tel Aviv as suicide bombers.

The camera follows them when they spend the last night of their life among their friends and family. Of course their mission is top secret and they can't really say goodbye to those they love. The next morning the bombs are attached to their bodies and they're brought to the Israeli-Palestinian border. An Israeli settler is supposed to pick them up and bring them to Tel Aviv.
But then they're discovered by Israeli soldiers and lose sight of each other. Both wander around looking for each other and meet different people. Eventually they get back home. Their mission is re-scheduled to the next day, and now each of them must decide on their own destiny...

Paradise Now has won numerous awards, including Amnesty International's Peace Prize. The story is fiction but for all I know could have happened just like that. The ending is neither cheesy nor easily predictable (two huge no-no's by my standards). The characters are genuine and driven by different ideals which they explain themselves as the story unfolds. The propaganda they exchange is always antisemitic, with the proposed 'solutions' ranging from a political approach to utter violence. While this was to expected (they're all Palestinians after all), the movie generally makes it clear that these are the opinions of its characters and not the message it wants to convey.

While this movie does not have the potential to change the world, it's quite insightful and more entertaining than many an unlovingly mass-produced Hollywood flick. Go see it if you want a peek into those people's lives. Don't see it if you think all them damn Muslims just bomb us because they hate our freedoms.

When life hands you a lemon, that's 40% of your RDA of vitamin C taken care of.

Mar 06, 2006 10:00 # 42177

rosyxxx *** replies...

Re: Paradise Now

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Man...I'm sorry I missed this film. I was at home convalescing during the time in which you wrote this post, and not viewing movies. When I got up out of bed and wandered to the movie theatre, among other things...I saw Cache, Brokeback Mountain and Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World. I did not know this was playing in any select theatres near me. I'd like to see it.

Btw, my friend who ordered the copy of Divine Intervention, the tragicomedy about the Palestinian/Israeli conflict, says that the movie is finally available on American DVD. Yes. Finally. I'm curious about any movies that help someone, me included, to see the mindset of others. I've found recently, due likely to dwelling to much on how often I hear of the sad plight of the Israelis to the point that it irritates me, that I seem to have the potential to become anti-semitic. I say 'potential', because that's all it is at this point, and I intend for it to remain that way. I hate prejudices. Is that a prejudice? Crap. You can't escape it. Arghh!

I don't think I am in danger of hating Muslims. I attribute that to the fact that I socialize with a few really cool Muslims. I only have one friend who is Jewish. I should probably broaden my horizons even more.

Off topic slightly, about 20 years ago, I actually was very prejudiced against gays. O_o. Go figure. It's almost always the ones who protest the most. I had all kinds of rigid ideas about gays, until I met some. But oddly, coming from the south, I was not prejudiced against African-Americans. My parents insisted that I go to inner city schools, and I expect that's why. If they had also insisted that I meet a lot of gay people, I would probably have gotten over that prejudice much sooner than I did twenty years ago. Plus, I would not have wasted so much time on dating only men. I would have wasted it on dating women as well. Heh.

Where we get our prejudices is sometimes from the media, and sometimes from the people with which we come into contact. I find that even though movies are just movies, they sometimes help to remove prejudices by exposing us to a side of life we've never really seen. It's not real, but sometimes it's close enough.

My mind is made up...not like my bed, which is a mess.

May 08, 2007 09:14 # 44485

null throws in his two cents...

Re: Paradise Now

on how often I hear of the sad plight of the Israelis to the point that it irritates me, that I seem to have the potential to become anti-semitic.

I really think that's a problem for many Jews. I could imagine that the constant whining we hear from their representatives (e.g. Central Consistory of Jews) and heinous war crimes committed by the Israeli government give the word 'Jew' a bad name in the eyes of many otherwise tolerant people.
Of course there's an important difference between condemning the Israelis for their war crimes and hating them for being Jewish (except that in the eyes of those pro-Israeli nutjobs you're a nazi in either case), but how is that gonna help the law-abiding and decent Jew on the street whose religion gets more unpopular every time a Jewish organisation extorts 'Holocaust reparation money' from somebody or an Israeli tank blows up a bunch of Palestinian children?

When life hands you a lemon, that's 40% of your RDA of vitamin C taken care of.


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