Tuesday, May 10, 2005
The previous post was an excerpt from an open letter from a German " Anti-Anti-Semitic" group regarding Paradise Now, the winner for best European film at the Berlin Film Festival. According to Palestine Report
"Paradise Now is quiet and introspective, and its complicated characters can’t be written off as simply as glorified freedom fighters or terrorists. The film’s most dynamic character is a young man from Nablus named Said, the son of a collaborator, who despite his love interest Suha’s pleas to reconsider, goes to Tel Aviv on a bombing mission.
"Said gains the audience’s empathy because he is emotionally vulnerable and fed romantic lines by his recruiter, such as “death is better than inferiority,” and because he is shown stagnating from the lack of opportunities in a besieged Nablus. But the audience also sympathizes with Suha, the daughter of an assassinated Palestinian hero, whose perspective is shaped by the fact that she was raised abroad, and begs Said to reassess suicide bombings as a morally sound and effective means of fighting the Israeli occupation. She tells Said, “If you kill, there is no difference between victim and occupier.”
Said and Khaled aren't demonized sufficiently for the German anti-anti Semitic association. Here's some more from the Open Letter:
The preparation of the two for their mission was consciously aestheticised for the European public: the scene, in which the two shoot their farewell video is awkwardly gay, it consists of words to the family and Israel is sweepingly condemned as an angry military power. The European public is spared all of the loathesomeness of such videos, however, i.e., the anti-Semitic tirades spurred by religous and nationalistic delusions, the extermination phantasies, and the Macho posturing. The propaganda film is able to pass itself off as documentary realism because of its beautifully colored lies. In this way it is possible for the viewers to empathize with the main character, the murderer, Said. The open, brutal anti-Semitism of Islamic videos and Palestinian T.V. is translated for Europeans in discrete and appetizing codes because the filmmaker can be sure that the public will better understand the anti-Semitic extermination message and will be ready to accept it.
O.K. I'm ready for good ol' All-American Zionism after plowing through this. I'll have to take a break before I translate the paragraph about Suha, the girlfriend.
Paradise Now will be playing at the Frankfurt Filmmusem Friday at 8:00 P.M.