I remember how I felt when I first saw Paradise Now the 2006 Academy Award nominated film about two Palestinian men solicited for a terrorist attack on Tel Aviv.
At the end of the movie, one of the two men enters a bus teeming with Israeli life – soldiers, the elderly, children on their way to school – and takes a seat. The camera holds on the man’s face as his unseen fingers reach for a cord that takes the lives of the innocent.
But there is no explosion. No cries from the victims. No desperate shouts from the rescuers. The camera simply cuts to a white screen and silence. For the filmmaker and the audience, the story is over.
It’s not over, I thought. The story doesn’t end when the cord is pulled. It’s not a bus that gets blown apart, but lives.
How do the survivors cope? How do they pick up the pieces of their lives and move forward? What about terror’s other victims – the people left behind?