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I'm not familiar with the Jorge Amado novel that formed the basis for this film, but the result is certainly somewhat unsettling and quite odd. After the death of an elderly drunk, friends remove his gold teeth and try to pawn them, only to learn that the teeth aren't really gold. Meanwhile the corpse is taken to the mortuary where it is shaved, cleaned, and prepared for burial--and given two new front teeth to boot. The friends (and with friends like these...) sneak into the mortuary, steal the body, and take it for a midnight ride in their car. Compelling and strangely watchable, Paradise of the Fallen Angels is not what one might expect from an Egyptian film. It's willfully perverse and darkly humourous and is a million miles away from the beautiful and serious cinema of Iran, for example. If you want to see an example of art from an Islamic country that has neither political nor religious overtones, here it is.
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