Arabian Nights
Palestine, France, Germany, Netherlands / 2005 / Arabic dialogue with English subtitles / Colour / 35 mm / 90 minutes
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Two Palestinian friends, Said (Kais Nashef) and Khaled (Ali Suliman), work in a garage in the West Bank town of Nablus. One day, a commander from a guerrilla organization visits them and tells Said that the pair are to carry out a suicide attack in Tel Aviv, in revenge for the Israelis' recent killing of two Arabs. <I>Paradise Now </I>follows the last 24 hours of the men's lives, taking in Said's final night with his mother (Hiam Abbass) and his farewell to Suha (Lubna Azabal), the well-off young woman who has strong feelings for him. Then it is time for the men to be bathed, record final testaments, eat a last meal - and then cross into Israeli territory. In the tense build-up to their mission, Hany Abu-Assad bravely goes beyond the stereotypical, demonizing portrayal of terrorists. He shows how these men are not irrational fundamentalists, but products of a culture of occupation and impotence. <I>Paradise Now </I>won the Blue Angel Award for Best European Film at the Berlin International Film Festival 2005.


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