Suicide Bombers Win Out at Golden Globe Awards

Best Foreign Language Film

Paradise Now

Hollywood awarded “Paradise Now” best foreign film at the 2006 Golden Globes Awards on Monday, January 16, 2006.

Davids Medienkritik ran this earlier review of the film from Germany’s Daily WELT:

A Jaundiced Look at a Sympathetic Figure

Hany Abu-Assads film is the first fruit of the “World Cinema Fund”, the mutual film sponsorship of the Berlinale and Federal Cultural Foundation. The evangelical film jury names “Paradise Now” as the film of the month because it invites the viewer to “think about the assasin’s motives”. Amnesty International distinguishes it with its peace prize because it’s neither “lecturing nor moralizing”. That’s true: Noone in the film says that it might morally wrong (and not just politically counterproductive as Suha claims), to mass murder the innocent.

Most German critics praise the “sophisticated” presentation. Well “Paradise Now” is certainly “sophisticated” compared to the hate soaked anti-semitic propaganda films that play every evening on TVs in every arabic country. Sure it’s “sophisticated” compared to the videos that Hamas, Hisbollah and Co. produce. (…)

As Said begs his commander for a second chance, he finds the words that Europeans miss so painfully in the communiques of the terrorists. Words that speak to the heart – just like Saids’ gesture speaks to the heart not to board a bus carrying a sweet israeli child. That’s how they are, these murderers: actually good people.

But the film doesn’t show Saids’deed: Women without abdomens, men without heads, children without arms and legs, blood and guts in seats, burned pieces of flesh all over the place. Nothing about that: After panning past Saids’ eyes the screen becomes bright and white and pure.

At the 55th international film festival in Berlin 2005 “Paradise Now” won the Publikumspreis (“audience award”) and the Blue Angle for the best European film.

Obviously, Hollywood feels the same way.

Palestinians were upset about the film, but for different reasons than Davids Medienkritik:

“This movie doesn’t help the Palestinian cause,” said an armed Palestinian militant who would not give his name because he’s on the run. “People who go to carry out bombings do not hesitate so much.”…

Most of the movie was shot in Nablus, a militant stronghold and the home base of many of the suicide bombers sent to attack Israeli targets in recent years. The conflict served as a constant backdrop for the film, which showed houses demolished in Israeli army operations, the sound of airstrikes against Palestinian militants and large crowds waiting at army roadblocks.

The violence even interrupted the filming — once when Israel carried out a missile strike at militants near the camera crew and once when militants briefly kidnapped a cameraman in an effort to stop the filming of a movie they believed would portray them in a negative light.

The filming was then moved to an Israeli Arab city to avoid further interruptions.

Some hoped the film’s international recognition would help relieve the Islamic hard-liners’ influence on society and allow the screening of such a movie here.

“I have a dream that one day we will see it in a cinema in Nablus,” said Muthana al-Qadi, who helped coordinate the filming here.

Earlier:
Two Thumbs Down to “Paradise Now”
Jews Blow Up in German Funded Film!

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