Paradise Now (NL/D/F/IL 2005)  



Paradise Now is the story of two young Palestinian men as they embark upon what may be the last 48 hours of their lives. On a typical day in the West Bank city of Nablus, where daily life grinds on amidst crushing poverty and the occasional rocket blast, we meet two childhood best friends, Sad (Kais Nashef) and Khaled (Ali Suliman), who pass time drinking tea, smoking a hookah, and working dead-end menial jobs as auto mechanics.

Sad's day takes a turn for the better when a beautiful young woman named Suha (Lubna Azabal) brings her car in for repairs. From their spirited interaction, it is apparent that there is a budding romance growing between them.

Sad is approached by middle-aged Jamal (Amer Hlehel), a point man for an unnamed Palestinian organization who informs Sad that he and Khaled have been chosen to carry out a strike in Tel Aviv. They have been chosen for this mission as a team, because each had expressed a wish that if either is to die a martyr, the other would want to die alongside his best friend.

Sad and Khaled have been preparing for this moment for most of their lives. They spend a last night at home -- although they must keep their impending mission secret even from their families. During the night Sad sneaks off to see Suha one last time. Suha's moderate views, having been educated in Europe, and Sad's burgeoning conflicted conscience cause him to stop short of explaining why he has come to say good-bye.

The following day, Sad and Khaled are lead to a hole in the fence that marks the Israeli border, where they are to meet a driver who will take them to Tel Aviv. But here the plan goes wrong, and Sad and Khaled are separated.


The Countess
Women Without Men
Nothing but Ghosts
Trip to Asia
La Fine del Mare
Paradise Now
Jena Paradies
Silent Waters

Director Hany Abu-Assad  
Camera Antoine Heberl  
Sound Uve Hauig  
Production Design Olivier Meidinger  
Costumes Walid Ma'wed, Almut Stier  
Editing Sander Vos  
Line Producer Peter Hermann  
1st ADs Sabina Franke, Eva-Maria Schnecker  
Principal Cast Kais Nashef  
  Ali Suliman  
  Lubna Azabal  
  Amer Hlehel  
  Hiam Abbass  
  Ashraf Barhoum  
Producers Gerhard Meixner, Roman Paul  
  Bero Beyer  
  Hengameh Panahi  
  Amir Harel  
Production Companies Razor Film Produktion GmbH, Berlin  
  Augustus Film, Amsterdam  
  Lumen Films, Paris  
  Lama Film, Tel Aviv  
Filming Locations Nablus, Nazareth & Tel Aviv, Palestine/Israel  
Shooting Period 9 April 2004 - 21 June 2004  
Format 35 mm / 1:2,35 / 90 min.  
Cinema Release Germany Constantin Film, 29 September 2005  
Awards Berlinale 2005: Blue Angel Award (Best European Film)  
  European Film Awards 2005: Best Script  
  Golden Globes 2005: Best Foreign Language Film  
  Oscars 2006: Oscar Nominee in the category  
  "Best Foreign Film"  
  German Film Awards 2006: Nominee in the categories  
  "Best Film" and "Best Script"  
Related Links Cast and Crew List (@ IMDB)  
  Production Stills (stern.de)  
  Film Poster (Berlinale 2005)