Essay on Paradise Now, by Director Hany Abu-Assad

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It is hard to overlook the oppression that faces Palestinians living in Israeli-occupied territories. Every street is littered with garbage, and walls are covered in grafitti. For citizens there, every day is a struggle to survive and violence is a constant threat. In contrast to the modernized and prosperous cities in Israel, the occupied territories are rural and tyrannized. The helplessness that Palestinians feel as a result of this situation often serves as a

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Alfred Hitchcock was one of many directors who utilized close-ups to create extraordinary dramatic effects. For example, in his film Psycho, close-ups are used to create suspense and portray the character’s emotions. Hitchcock was able to use close-ups to make an already dramatic scene even more powerful. In Rear Window, another of his films, Hitchcock uses the same type of shot for a different purpose. In the film, the main character (Jimmy Stewart) is bedridden and many close-up shots of him are used to show how he is trapped in his apartment room. The shot traps Stewart on in the frame in the same way that he is trapped in his small apartment.
In contrast to close-up shots, long shots are used in a much different way. A long shot is “a camera shot from a great distance, usually showing the characters as very small in comparison to their surroundings” (IMDB). In many films, long shots are used to set the stage for the upcoming plot. They portray the character and his setting. In the film The Searchers, for example, long shots are used to show the typical western setting of the film. The shot starts to develop the theme of the film and establishes the character in the setting.
Hany Abu-Assad, who lived in Palestine where the film was shot, experienced the conflict that he chose to show in the film first hand, which was a major reason that his close-up and long shots were so effective. He is familiar with the oppression that Palestinians,
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