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Militant Islam Monitor > Satire > Film about Arabs who kill Jews wins Hollywood award for showing the 'dignity' of suicide bombers

Film about Arabs who kill Jews wins Hollywood award for showing the 'dignity' of suicide bombers

January 17, 2006

Film Depicting Human Side of Suicide Bombers Wins Golden Globe

Tuesday, January 17, 2006


A movie presenting the human side of two Moslem suicide bombers with a mission to kill innocent Jews in Tel Aviv won a Golden Globe award Monday night for best foreign language film.

The film, Paradise Now, depicts 48 hours in the lives of two young terrorists recruited to kill innocent Jews in Tel Aviv by blowing themselves up for the glory of Islam.

Paradise Now portrays what terrorists have to endure to prepare for a bombing: getting military haircuts, eating a last meal, videotaping their last words, and strapping their bodies with explosives.

The film also presents the terrorists' emotional anguish brought on in part by lingering doubts about the reward promised to martyrs in the afterlife.

The main characters blame Israel's presence in Judea and Samaria and Shechem, the area's largest city, for their motivation to carry out the attack.

Daniel Pipes, a commentator on Middle East affairs, called the movie "propagandistic," saying it "whitewashes Palestinian suicide bombing."

A film critic for the New York Times said the movie "risks offending viewers in the same way that humanizing Hitler does."

Though partially funded by the Israeli taxpayer via the government subsidized Israel Film Fund, the movie bears little sympathy for the Israeli victims the characters intend to kill.

A reviewer for Frontpagemag.com said, "Israelis are depersonalized and utterly demonized. For most of the film we see Israelis only as soldiers: ominous, hard-eyed, helmeted, armed or in tanks. The film betrays no understanding that there is more than one side to this tragic story."

Not all reviewers criticized the film's one-sidedness. Entertainment Weekly praised the movie for "the dignity bestowed on a pair of Palestinian suicide bombers."

Hatred of Israel is also a dominant theme in the movie. As the action progresses, one of the characters decides not to carry out the attack. The other character, however, decides he must blow up Jews. His cites the "occupation" and the need to overcome his shame for having a father who was executed by Arabs for cooperating with Israel.

Winning a Golden Globe award puts Paradise Now in an excellent position to win an Oscar for Best Foreign Film when the Academy Awards are given out this March.



Study of suicide bombers takes prize
From Stephen Farrell in Jerusalem
"FROM the most unexpected place, comes a bold new call for peace," runs a publicity campaign for the Palestinian film about suicide bombers that won best foreign language film at the Golden Globes.

Paradise Now follows two young Palestinians recruited by an unnamed militant group for a double suicide attack on Tel Aviv. Hany Abu-Assad, its Palestinian writer and director, made an unabashedly political acceptance speech, calling for a Palestinian state.

Filmed in Arabic with English subtitles, it follows Khaled (Ali Suliman) and Said (Kais Nashef), two car mechanics from Nablus, weaving romance, doubts and the reality of life in the West Bank into a study of the motivations of such volunteers in what may be the last 48 hours of their lives.

Khaled's motivation is political, to end Israel's occupation of his homeland; Said's more personal: his father was put to death by Palestinians as a collaborator.

Mr Abu-Assad spoke to the families of suicide bombers and studied transcripts of Israeli interrogations of failed bombers. He sought to give "a human face to the suicide bombers, but I am also critical . . . I was making an honest film".

Filming in Nablus, Nazareth and Tel Aviv created difficulties amid Israeli missile strikes and the kidnap of a crew member by militants. The film was shown in Israel, but did not generate interest. It proved more popular at the US box office even though its distributor, Warner Independent, received complaints such as: "Why do you glorify the sick Arab homicide bombers who kill innocent civilians?"

Laura Kim, a Warner publicity executive, said: "For as many calls, e-mails and letters that we get from people protesting our release of the film, there are more of those that are in support."

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