Paradise Now

Support Paradise Now's right to be shown, and it's right to be called a Palestinian film.

Free Speach has been much touted these last weeks; do we really mean it?

Thank you to my friend Eman of AquaCool for raising the issue:

After winning the AGICOA’s
Blue Angel Award for the best European film at the Berlinale
, and a Golden Globe for
the Best Foreign Language Film movie in the 63rd Annual Golden Globe Awards, Paradise Now has created such a controversy. As soon as the news of this movie being nominated for the Oscars, an online petition signed by over 11,000 Israelis was created to force the withdrawal of this movie from the Oscars all together, claiming it encourages mass murder!


The Intolerant One said...

Hi again Amelopsis,

I read this link and I am utterly astounded. Here is what I went back to read a few times over:

"And just like there are suicide bombers who kill just to destroy and spread violence & terror, there are ones on the other hand, who were leading normal lives but the situation they’re in, where they find themselves alone drowning in a deep sea of suffering while others are watching, creates horrible desperation that results in them being ready to do whatever it takes to get heard and to stop the suffering.
So by representing some models of suicide bombers, the movie is simply reflecting a reality, an existing phenomena, it does not encourage it, it does not aim at sympathizing with suicide bombers rather than aiming at understanding some of the cases and some of the reasons that may lead to this phenomena one way or another."

Over the last few weeks over at "Pourqois Pas" I have been reading all the condemnation over the violence and behaviour of some of the muslims because of the allah carictures in the media.

Now I am reading about "understanding" sucide bombers who feel their voices are not being heard? When some punk coward walks onto a bus and blows up innocent women and children "so his voice can be heard" is given recognition then we truly have lost all form of human dignity. I do not care what his "desperate" reasons are.

I realise that the entry says that it does not aim to "sympathize" but I was still left with that impression anyways. I speak as a husband and a father of young (adorable of course) children, the very thought of the horrors that would be inflicted upon myself and family because one of these gutless wonders would hop on a bus and blow himself to smithereens is unimaginable to me. I can gaurantee you his "message" would be completely lost on me and numerous others. The only message he would get across is how senseless it all was.

Which is why the last thing I would do is promote this film. The last thing these cowards deserve is any kind of recognition. Even if the film does not "support" or "sympathise" with them.

I certainly have no sympathy or desire to understand these "baby killers"!

I have expressed my strong view on this and I am curious to know why you feel it should get any publicity. I am not making any assumptions with regards to yourself but I feel support of this film is support for terrorism.

I cannot comprehend this. Have I missed something?

Amelopsis said...

Intolerant One I think that you're personalising this and (in my opinion) taking what is a typically zionist perspective. Palestinian existance and daily life is one that occurs under constant and daily threat and is utterly controlled by Israel. They cannot move freely within their own land.

This has gone on now for generations.

This leads to desperation.

It is reality.

The film is depicting the reality for some.

The film should be allowed to be screened.

This film is not about supporting anyone, it is about understanding others lives and experiences in our global community.

I cannot begin to conceive of how you would view the film as supporting terrorism.

No one wants to live in the reality that is Palestine - not even the Palestinians - their reality is thrusted upon them with every sonic boom raid, ever sniper killing of schoolchildren, etc.

If we are to pretend to want to encourage peace in the region, we cannot look away when presented with the life experience of one of the 2 sides with whom this peace must be brokered.

Perhaps you can try to imagine if you and your children were living in Palestine as Palestinians (you need not imagine being a different religion, there are many Palestinian Christians), rather than imagining you were living in Israel.
Will this not compell you to consider how the other side exists?

The Intolerant One said...

Thank you, Amelopsis, for taking some time to respond. I would like you know that I understand why you feel this movie should be screened, I just do not agree.

"I think that you're personalising this "

Yes I am. As I said, I thought of my wife and children on a bus and me getting the call that they had just been blown up because of the "desperation" of one Palestine trying to be heard.

"taking what is a typically zionist perspective"

I did not understand this. Does this have something to do with my faith? I was basing my objections on the actions of these individuals.

" Palestinian existance and daily life is one that occurs under constant and daily threat and is utterly controlled by Israel. They cannot move freely within their own land."

This I am aware of. (This is also a reality in many parts of the world minus the suicide bombers.) My guess is this is because of the very things that we are discussing. That being, that a suicide bomber can walk into town square at any moment and blow innocent people up. Because of these actions they are under close watch. Is it fair? Not to those who do not condone these actions but as long as they continue I cannot see it changing in the foreseeable future. I can only imagine, but if I lived in those conditions I think I would like to know that solidiers were doing their best to prevent these tradgedys from occuring.Even though I admit, I would hate to live under constant watch.

"I cannot begin to conceive of how you would view the film as supporting terrorism."

I cannot begin to concieve how you cannot. ( I am not trying to be fascious we just obviously do not see eye to eye on this)

When a film is made about understanding the desperation of the individual committing what are deemed to be terrorist acts, by giving it any kind of attention it portrays support or sympathy even if that is not the intent. Therefore, as I stated, it supports acts of terrorism. It gives recognition it does not deserve. You do not have to agree but I am explaining my perception on it.

Just over 4 weeks ago I had a biker friend committ suicide. Although I did not see it coming he was in the throes of his own personal desperation. He, sadly, decided to end it all. Maybe he too was "not being heard". Maybe he had a message to get out that was being stifled. But he did not take the lives of 50 or so innocent people with him to make his point.

"No one wants to live in the reality that is Palestine - not even the Palestinians - their reality is thrusted upon them with every sonic boom raid, ever sniper killing of schoolchildren, etc."

The sniper killing of children always get's to the heart. I recall watching some news story awhile back and seeing the tragic images of a father carrying his dead child. Even a big ole biker like me was moved to tears. But I have a question...do you notice the different motives? Israeli snipers point their guns and warships at militant leaders and insurgents. Do you believe that they intentionally aim their guns at children? Or is it the sad reality of innocent victims of instability in the region?

Please do not misunderstand what I am saying. I am trying to display the difference's in motive/intention.

On the other hand you have suicide bombers who "have full knowledge" that the bus or market square they are in is packed with women and children and they "willfully" blow themselves up anyway taking the innocents with them. This, in my opinion, is another reason they deserve no recognition.

I do not believe that Israeli's intentionally kill children whereas I believe the opposite of the suicide bomber. Their actions clearly demonstrate that.

"Will this not compell you to consider how the other side exists?"

Here we agree. But to what extent? Promoting screen time to spineless baby killers is no different then North America glorifying our own mass murder's like Karla Homolka in a movie. Like the suicide bomber, she also deserved no attention for her willfful and heinous crimes.

I do not need to understand the "why's". When do "they" become accountable for their acts of mass murder and cowardice? The focus of the film is completely misdirected.

Amelopsis said...

Intolerant One I very much appreciate the considered way in which you choose to express yourself; it is seldom seen from more conservative bloggers, in my experience.

Two things come to mind for me:

I was not referring to your faith. Far from it - I was simply stating a fact that your reaction is one that is popular among people who support zionism. I don't know if you do, but I think it's evident that your opinion would tend to lean more that way than the other.

Second - it is really 2nd and 3rd. I don't wish to debate the issue, and we clearly disagree with some fundamentals of the conversation, however two posts I recently read, did come to mind while reading your comment.

Here they are and I hope that these might add some new degree of perspective to your statements that you don't believe the IDF aim at civilians, and your analogy of your biker friends hopelessness leading to suicide. (and I'm truly sorry for that loss - suicide is a tragic death that I know all too much about)

This link: http://tinyurl.com/5m8k6
came via a post at the same place as this one: http://tinyurl.com/frjap
(not sure if the links will work, you may have to cut and paste)

Keir said...

This looks like a truly phenomenal film. Thanks for posting on it.

I don't see what the problem would be with Western viewers getting into the head of a would-be Palestinian killer. Western cinema goers have been getting into the heads of Western rapists, murderers, psychopaths, thugs, pornographers and so on for just about as long as there's been cinema.

New York artist Jackie Salloum writes "Out of 1000 films that have Arab & Muslim characters (from yrs 1896 to 2000) 12 were positive depictions, 52 were even handed and the rest of the 90O and so were negative."

Compare the horror of whatever goes on in Paradise Now (which appears to be a sensitive investigation of an important issue) to what we have all seen in the standard thoughtless, rascist, violent Hollywood blockbusters.

Amelopsis said...

Ah, yes Keir, precisely.

michael the tubthumper said...

try this short film

its the one called 'planet of the arabs'

Amelopsis said...

Thanks Michael - it'll have to remain a 'Mystery Link' until later on - (same one that's included in Keir's link?)

michael the tubthumper said...

it is, d'oh

Fiona said...

"it does not aim at sympathizing with suicide bombers rather than aiming at understanding some of the cases and some of the reasons that may lead to this phenomena one way or another."

So understanding is what were so afraid of, huh? Sounds like a good movie to me.

The Intolerant One said...

Thank you for the "links" Amelopsis. I read thru them. It is horrific to think that a sniper could have committed such a callous act.

I am not convinced this is a regular occurrence regarding their job but you have shown me that there are obviously some very sick and twisted people behind the "other" side as well.

The links actually reaffirmed my original conviction. I simply put it on the other shoe when I thought about it.

If this type of killing was a regular and voluntary occurrence (who knows, maybe it is but I have only read the one story and far too many re: suicide bombers) and someone wanted to do a movie about getting into the mind of the Isreali sniper for better "understanding", I know that my position would not change.

People who kill children "willingly with intent" deserve zero recognition of any kind.

But I thank you for some insight that I was not aware of and also the way you have welcomed my "not so agreeable" views to be expressed.

Amelopsis said...

Intolerant One, I am afraid that far too many innocents and children are shot by Israeli sniper fire; sadly it is seldom covered in any of our media. It happens far more often than you might like to believe. Disturbingly so.
There are many websites where the figures and circumstances are available, and specifically for those statistics on children. If you think you're interested I will fish them out for you.
I think it's unfortunate that rather than an opportunity to comprehend and thus avoid extreme cases of violence and what drives a person to it, you see this as some sort of pseudo glorification. I must adamantly disagree. But - I don't think we're going to convince either of anything here.
Your dissenting voice is always welcome, a civil discourse is always so.

Preston said...

I also plan on seeing this film.

I despise what these bombers are doing, but that doesn't mean I'm incapable of understanding it (looks in intolerant one's direction).

Let's say generation after generation of your family had been systematically wiped out by a group of people. You were born into this hate, you were educated on its long history, and you were aware that it was not going to stop any time soon.

Then one day, your immediate family is murdered -- wife, mother, father, sisters, young children. Maybe you'd do something drastic too?