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Movie Review: Paradise Now

Alternate Title: The Other Side of the Wall

Story: Headdresses off to writer director Hany Abu-Assad for bravely making a film about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The point of view is from the Palestinian side of the wall. Now don't get all nutty on me - this film does not condone terrorism. What it does do is present the other side of the wall's view on what they consider an occupation and also see themselves as victims. He tries very hard to show why two seemingly normal young men would become suicide (or what I prefer to call, homicide) bombers.

Assade puts a face on terrorism. Did I sympathize with the terrorists? Not for a minute. Do I understand their frustration? Absolutely. Are there any easy answers? No. Do they discuss the history of the Palestinian corrupt leadership? Not once.

The voice of reason is in the person of a young woman whose father was a martyred terrorist. Her dialogue and pleas for peace through negotiation in order to break the cycle of generational Palestinian violence leaves one with some hope.

This film was made before the decision last September to clear out the West Bank settlers. The director and crew risked life and limb (one was even kidnapped during the filming by Palestinian terrorists) to make this film. It has been rewarded by receiving last week's Golden Globe for Best Foreign Film and has also won the 2005 Amnesty International Award for Best Film.

Acting: Powerful, convincing performances throughout.

Predilection: As I have said before, I am a Zionist and so this film was interesting to me and I also like to see all of the award winning films.

Food: Lots of vegetarian goodies.

Blatant Product Placement: Terror

Squirm Scale: Terror should make anyone squirm

Drift Factor: No drifting.

Predictability Level: High

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: Nominations come out on January 31st. We shall see.

Soap Box: My soapbox would be longer than the review so I will save my diatribe on the mid-east problems for the people on my political sendlist.

Big Screen or Rental: The chance of getting wide US distribution are weak so rental might have to be your way to go.

Length: 90 minutes

LOBO HOWLS: 8