"Paradise Now" to screen

Posted March 30, 2006

This Saturday's offering from the Silver Screen Society is "Paradise Now," winner of the 2005 Golden Globe, National Board of Review, and the Independent Spirit Award For "Best Foreign Film."

The story follows two Palestinian childhood friends who have been recruited for a strike on Tel Aviv and focuses on their last days together. When they are intercepted at the Israeli border and separated from their handlers, a young woman who discovers their plan causes them to reconsider their actions.

Director Abu-Assad and his fine cast wordlessly take us on an un-resolvable gamut of human emotion. Abu-Assad finds an emotional richness in the material, while honing in on the righteous anger that springs from a life lived in humiliated futility. The film makes it possible to understand how a person, driven by desperation, hatred, and shame, might end up committing the most heinous acts. But understanding is not the same as sympathy or forgiveness.

"Paradise Now" was co-written and directed by Hany Abu-Assad (Rana's Wedding). It was selected for inclusion in the 2005 New York Film Festival by the Film Society of Lincoln Center. There will be a discussion after the film for audience members.

"Paradise Now," Sat., April 1, Katharine Cornell Theatre, Vineyard Haven, 7:30 pm. $6/$4 for society members. For information, visit