Paradise Now

It's not surprising that emotions run high in this movie powder keg about two Palestinian suicide bombers — Said (Kais Nashef) and Khaled (Ali Suliman) — on a mission to Tel Aviv. What does amaze is the humane and nonpartisan treatment of the topic by Palestinian director and co-writer Hany Abu-Assad. By detailing two days in the lives of these young mechanics — they've been friends since childhood — as they prepare to sacrifice their future for a cause they barely understand, the director puts a human face on the headlines. Shot in the West Bank, the film radiates authenticity. Even when he plays the action like a thriller, Abu-Assad is in search of a deeper truth.

From The Archives Issue 397: June 9, 1983