“Paradise Now,” Hany Abu-Assad's stark, minimalist portrait of two young Palestinian men preparing for a suicide-bombing mission in Tel Aviv, will be shown starting Friday, Feb. 3 at the Smith Opera House in downtown Geneva.
This is the kind of movie that takes away both your breath and your ability to get out of your seat. At the stunning conclusion, you feel as if the weight of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has come down on your head. It recently received a Golden Globe Award for the Best Foreign Language film.
A riveting high-tension thriller, made before Israel's September withdrawal from the West Bank, the film tells the story of the Middle East at the political crossroads through the eyes of two young men at a moral crossroads.
Director Abu-Assad explores his own curiosity about what makes someone decide that killing themselves for political leverage is a better option than living.
That Abu-Assad and his crew were allowed to film in the political hotbed of the West Bank is a testament to his unbiased treatment of the politics of his film. He's not choosing sides, nor is he trying to sway the viewer. He simply wants to open a meaningful discussion about the real issues at hand. Although the full-scale weight of the Middle East situation seems far too massive to show in one film, Abu-Assad manages to bring a sense of sympathy and understanding to the senselessness of the entire situation. He proves that neither side can claim moral victory because taking any life is not a moral action.
“Paradise Now,” will be shown at 7 p.m. Feb. 3 and 4 and at 2 p.m. Feb. 5; it is in Arabic with English subtitles, rated PG-13 and has a running time of 90 minutes. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for students and senior citizens and will be available at the door.