Suicide Killers (2006)
City Lights Pictures
Suicide Killers is a trip to the dark side. This is a place where one Palestinian bomber, checking his stock of guns and grenades as he prepares for his next mission, expresses the hope that his three young children will follow in his footsteps, while another says, "I will not regret it if (the target) is a nursery full of kids." Yet these extraordinary statements are only part of the tale told in Pierre Rehov's 80-minute film, which sheds light not only on terrorists but also on the others in their grim orbit. There are Israelis who survived attacks staged by Hamas; parents of bombers, some bewildered by their sons' deeds, others proud of them; and a few voices of reason, such as a Palestinian in Gaza who says, "You can't build a security (sic) life by blood." There are also scenes from a "summer camp" for kids where "martyr training" is conducted, and, most strikingly, multiple interviews with jailed bombers who failed at their appointed rounds, including a couple of women whose serenity, as Rehov puts it, is more disturbing than their desire to fight. Much of this isn't typical fly on the wall documentary stuff, but direct, intimate contact with the terrorists (including one whose cell wall is draped with a giant Minnie Mouse curtain), often featuring extreme close-ups of their eyes. Along the way, there's plenty of speculation about the motives that drive people to blow themselves up in the hope that they'll take dozens of victims, if not more, with them. One pundit suggests it's pure brainwashing, while another dismisses the bombings as a "cynical tactic… for political ends." Others posit the theory that the repressive separation of the sexes in strict Muslim society has so frustrated some men that they're willing to die young in order to reach paradise, where they'll be surrounded by 72 virgins. And, of course, there's virulent anti-Semitism, and hatred of Israel and its "brutal occupation" of Palestinian territory. At times, the terrorists' endless rhetoric comes off as posturing. But then you see the bloody results of their handiwork, and when you hear them proclaim their willingness, eagerness even, to get another chance to kill, you know they're deadly serious. The DVD features include additional scenes, further interviews, and more. --Sam Graham
Literally torn from the headlines: "a Martyr on the Loose"... The viewer is taken on a disturbing journey that few can comprehend - deep into the culture and psychopathology of suicide bombers - this century's latest warfare phenomenon! This feature documentary takes the audience on a disturbing journey deep into a culture that few can comprehend - that of suicide bombers. Filmmaker Pierre Rehov examines the phenomenon of suicide bombers through rare and never-before-seen interviews with actual family members of terrorists, the prisoners whose bombing attempts have been thwarted, and exclusive footage of a terror bomber as he prepares for a mission! This film provides a message of urgency for increasing our understanding of the psychopathological dynamics of these terrorist bombers. We finally gain insight to how these human bombs "tick". The DVD features include US Theatrical Trailer, Additional Scenes, Interactive Educational Tools, Exclusive Interviews with Survivors and Jailed Bombers.