lundi, mai 29, 2006

windows to a deadened soul

"Paradise Now" was the first Palestinian film to be nominated for an Academy Award. I saw it nearly five weeks ago and I'm still thinking about it.

Hany Abu-Assad's disturbing yet moving tale finds two men at a critical juncture in their lives. They've been drafted as suicide bombers in an upcoming assignment in Tel Aviv. Granted a night to spend with their families, they go home but are unable to say goodbye for fear of tipping their hand. But perhaps it isn't time for farewells yet as the two become separated during the mission and must decide on their own whether to continue or bail out.
Before watching it, I wondered how even-handed a story about two Palestinian childhood friends who volunteer for a suicide bombing mission in Tel Aviv could be. I expected romanticized propaganda, or clear-cut condemnation. I took neither message from the film. Instead, I came away stunned.

It was only a few days later, after I had processed it enough to talk about it, that Leo and I began to trade our impressions of the movie. Five weeks on, one indelible visual has burned itself into my memory — Said's eyes. They speak more profoundly than any words uttered in the film.

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