Melancholic Said (Nashef) and hot-headed Khaled (Suliman) are best friends who eke out a living as car mechanics in Nablus, West Bank. When they are called up by the Palestinian resistance to carry out a suicide bombing in Tel Aviv, the young men eagerly strap on explosives and prepare to cross the border. But when their nihilistic mission veers off course, doubts begins to plague them both. Will this be enough to save the lives of their intended victims?
Why we love it
One of the only films to examine the phenomenon of suicide terror through the eyes of its perpetrators, Abu-Assad's intelligent, nail-biting drama generated heated controversy when it debuted in 2005. While the film dramatizes the murderous mindset of professional terrorists, it also provides insight into the psychology of those who murder not out of religious fanaticism, but rather a sense of futility and aggrieved humiliation. Taut pacing, agile direction, and great performances by Nashef, Suliman, and Lubna Azabal (as Said's friend and love interest, Suha, the lone voice of reason) made "Paradise" an Oscar contender.