Paradise Now

Just when you had given up hope that the you will be able to see a film about the people that are written about as statistics by the Western Press, comes the brilliant film, Paradise Now ..

It is a moving, incisive and bold and intelligent film about two Palestinian friends that are moved by their lives in the occupied territories to go together on a suicide mission in Tel Aviv. Notice that I did not say ‘recruited’ as most of the sales blurb on the internet seems to suggest.
It is obvious that the two friends interpret their deaths as the only alternative to the loss of dignity they feel under foreign occupation. We may or may not agree. But the most stunning line in the film is “We don’t have planes, the only weapon I have left is my Body”.
It potrays people that go to suicide missions as intelligent, loving, caring and the thinking people. Not the demonic ideas we are fed with of people from a totally different mind set. Just a totally diffent envioroment. It will make you wonder whether in a different situation, and at a different time, and under the same pressure, you would have done the same.
The Directing is terrific. As are the performances.
And Kais Nashef as ‘Sayeed’, has turned out one of the best performances on film I have seen for a long time.
Go see this film,

13 thoughts on “Paradise Now

  1. I suppose that in the West there is a high premium put on the value of life, supposedly – so high that even a soldiers life is worth protecting, and that the idea of a suicide bomber is the ultimate obscenity…
    ..which is ironic since it suggests that only certain lives are worth protecting…is the cost of “protection” ageeing to subjugation and dominance by another?

  2. Don’t know if this available here but hope we can get this film in Canada.

  3. O dear! One night, a few weeks ago, I was in one of my I-feel-sorry-for-myself moods. So, as usual, I go to the grocery store, get me a pint of ice cream and a box of candy and head out to Blockbuster. My only variation to this monthly routine was that instead of a chick flick, I bring home Paradise Now.
    I watch the movie. I re-watch certain parts. I watch the director’s cut. I watch the making. I even try and watching it with French subtitles (No, I am not French and don’t understand a word, I just could not get enough of Paradise Now).
    Then came the frustrating part of finding someone else who had watched it so that I could talk about it. As soon as I would try and persuade friends to rent it, my summary would be enough to get a “not another one of those movies” reaction.
    No guys, this is NOT “one of those movies”. It is a breath of pure fresh air. No reviews capture the emotions and as you said, Shekhar, the sales blurbs on the internet hardly do it justice, let alone respect the movie for what it is.
    The movie made my puny brain pregnant with contradictory thoughts that night. How could a story of suicide bombers be so inspiring? Was it because of the brilliant direction, or the amazing script, flawless acting…? How can suicide bombers be the unsung martyrs? We are given the impression that they are brain washed, but are they? Dignity over religion? Who are the good guys? Who are the bad guys? Are they all just plain humans beings caught in a Darwinian nightmare of survival of the fittest?
    How did I not finish my ice cream and not touch my candy?
    Really guys, watch it and more importantly talk about it.

  4. Dear Mr. Kapur,
    This is Fauzan Sohail, editor of the online entertainment magazine from Pakistan called WeCite []. If you remember, one of our correspondents, Zara Barlas recently interviewed you for the May Issue of the magazine. We’re happy to inform you that the May 2006 issue of WeCite was launched on May 1 and your interview awaits your review.
    I would also like to personally take this opportunity to thank you for availing your time and interest towards WeCite.
    We’d be highly obliged if you would also consider mentioning us in your Press Articles section for due accolades of your interview to WeCite.
    Please let me know if I could be of any further assistance.
    Sincere regards,
    Fauzan Sohail
    Editor-in-Chief | Owner
    WeCite :: Thought.Written.Seen
    Copyright |2 thousand and 6| All Rights & Lefts Reserved.

  5. I think its highly intelligent people who are capable of such acts…i have read stories abt people who have been great academicians & scholars who chucked all when they got involved in causes that involved the pride of their country..
    Intelligence is real scary …sometimes…isnt it??
    How are your films on Mandela & Paani going on??

  6. Dear Shekhar,
    If you’re recommending the film so highly, I’ll have to go out and see it. Hope the DVD is available here in Mumbai.
    Just returned from a show of 36 China Town at Cinemax. Supposedly is a murder mystery, but lacks punch. Mainstream Hindi movies are going down. Haven’t seen a quality Hindi movie after Black.

  7. Dear Shekhar,
    I have a story idea for a movie. If you are interested, we can discuss about it.
    Plz let me know.

  8. I managed to see this rather touching movie at the Dubai Film Festival 2005. Yes the directing and acting is spot on in the movie throughout.
    At the festival the director and the actors were present during the screening and loads of questions were raised to them after the show. The director of the movie mentioned that they faced great setbacks during the making from the Israeli and the Palestinian government as they thought that the filmmakers were trying to portray false instances which might create more unrest between the two.
    The actors also claimed to have actually met suicide bombers who walked away before committing the attacks saying they could not do it.
    Overall it was a great experience and a great movie.
    Shekhar if you get a chance do watch the French movie Caché (Hidden) starring Juliette Binoche and Daniel Auteuil, directed by Michael Haneke. Read more about it on
    This movie was the highlight of the Dubai Film Festival 2005 and it left everyone in the cinema spellbound.

  9. Hi Shekar,
    You should come out with something similar going on in our own Paradise-Kashmir.I believe boys and girls as young as six and seven are trained to become suicide bombers.If not a movie, atleast a documentary which could transform an entire generation.Think about it.

  10. Suicide bombers may be well educated, caring, normal people, however, the weapons (their own bodies) that they unleash are destroying and killing innocent civilians which where a truly sane, caring, normal person would draw a line.

  11. Dear Mr. Kapur,
    I am informed you are working on a film version of Asimov’s “Foundation” trilogy. Since very little has yet been released about the contents, perhaps my comments here are based on inaccurate information.
    That said, early comments suggest you will be significantly altering the contents of the texts.
    These books are one of the most beloved in all of science fiction. As you found from your previous Asimov adaptation, although you cannot please everyone all the time, you need to do more than appropriate a famous title of a literary work in order to call attention to your film, then butcher the plot into something utterly unrecognizable. “I, Robot” was not the main opus of Mr. Asimov’s work, but your adaptation of it garnered much anger among those who love Asimov’s novels.
    Please do not replace Trantor with Earth in your adaptation of the “Foundation” books — doing so will weaken the premise of the story line, and defeat a hopeful theme (that humans will someday succeed in escaping Earth’s current petty and pointless wars, and expand into alimitless horizon). The Star Wars movies have shown that audiences can accept humanity existing on planets other than Earth as their base. And “Lord of the Rings” (although clearly (but understandably for abridgement purposes) not as faithful as many wanted), showed that audiences appreciated reasonably faithful adaptations of the original.
    I sincerely hope you will respect the integrity of a great mind and author, and not substitute your own pen for that of Mr. Azimov’s, regardless of your own great creativity and originality.
    David Deutsch

  12. no doubt paradise now is an exceptional film.i was lucky to watch it at the osian film festival and the film left me speechless.shekhar when will this day come in india when such films will be made?i think responsibility lies in the hands of directors like u who can rise above the motives of profit making and make pure cinema and make people here realise that cinema is art and not a money minting machine

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