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The final installment in Ulrich Seidl's Paradise trilogy, 'Paradise: Hope' tells the story of overweight thirteen-year-old Melanie and her first love. While her mother travels to Kenya ('... See full summary »
Teresa, a fifty-year-old Austrian mother, travels to the paradise of the beaches of Kenya, seeking out love from African boys. But she must confront the hard truth that on the beaches of Kenya, love is a business.
In conurbations where hundreds of thousands live alongside one another, in the era of a highly technological society, in which communication has never played such a significant role, man ... See full summary »
This is a film about the 'students ball' in Horn, the little Austrian town Seidl grew up. The movie portraits the young débutantes as well as the local notables, all of them eagerly involved in maintaining the stiff and stifling ritual.
Ulrich Seidls follow wealthy tourists going on safari to kill often endangered species. Some determinedly searching for trophies, others to enjoy. Even if every prey comes at a price., they... See full summary »
Jan loves Jasmin, but she has been promised to a Pakistani nephew who will shortly arrive in Norway in order to marry her. Under cover of writing a thesis on immigrant stores, Jan gets a ... See full summary »
Knut Erik Grorud,
A working-class man named Marcos and his wife kidnap a baby for ransom money, but it goes tragically wrong when the infant dies. In another world is Ana, the daughter of the general for ... See full summary »
Two parallel stories - one about a young Ukrainian immigrant in Austria (Olga), and another about a young Austrian traveling for work reasons in East Europe (Pauli). It is a story of simple people with a dark future and gray unhappy lives. The movie was shot in Austria, Slovakia, Rumania and Ukrania, mostly with non-actors in a documentary sort of style. It has a 1980s sort of visual style, and it has a depressing mood and colors.
The movie, despite being in Cannes official selection, has a sluggish script, poor dialogues and lacks in focus, all factors that rest credibility to the story.
The movie has beautiful and shocking scenes, they won't leave you indifferent for sure. Some of them are so because of their sexual nature, others for their sadness, others because of their tenderness, and others because depict situations that are not easy to see without getting an emotional reaction.
The characters of Pauli, Olga, and Pauli's father are well played by Paul Hofmann, Ekateryna Rak and Michael Thomas, respectively. However, the drawing of the characters lacks in dramatic depth and the viewer resents that. We see them struggling in their lives, but we don't understand why they got to that point, what is their personal background -which is only hinted-, what is troubling their souls. On the other hand, Olga's story is told in a straightforward clear way, but Pauli's story is not, despite his character being, a priori, very interesting and cool.
The story doesn't seem to have any purpose, just to catch glimpses of a sad reality. If that was the director's intention, a documentary would have been more respectful and less pretentious. The end, on the other hand, is also unresolved.
I found that the selection of some Rumanian, Slovakian and Ukrainian depressed areas offers a misleading view of countries that, otherwise, are modern and normal. However, those areas are presented as if they were the real country, i.e. as if all of those countries were like that. Marginal suburbs can be found anywhere in the developed world, not just in those countries.
I'm appalled at the poster of the movie being the one it is, which is utterly misleading. The movie is not about sex, is about life and death, about two different life paths that lead nowhere but in opposite directions.
Nothing new in the horizon and nothing memorable either, but is an interesting movie not easy easy to watch, but engaging nevertheless.
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