On the beaches of Kenya they're known as "Sugar Mamas" -- European women who seek out African boys selling love to earn a living. Teresa, a fifty-year-old Austrian and mother of a daughter ... See full summary »
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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 »
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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.
On the beaches of Kenya they're known as "Sugar Mamas" -- European women who seek out African boys selling love to earn a living. Teresa, a fifty-year-old Austrian and mother of a daughter entering puberty, travels to this vacation paradise. She goes from one beach boy to the next, from one disappointment to the next and finally she must recognize: On the beaches of Kenya, love is a business. Written by
"Externally bright, internally dark and scornfully humorous..."
Austrian screenwriter, producer and director Ulrich Seidl's third feature film which he co-wrote with screenwriter Veronika Franz and co-produced, is the first part the Paradise trilogy which is succeeded by "Paradise: Faith" (2012) and Paradise: Hope (2013). It premiered In competition at the 65th Cannes International Film Festival 2012, was screened in the Contemporary World Cinema section at the 37th Toronto International Film Festival in 2012 and is a Austria-Germany-France co-production which was shot on location in Vienna, Austria and Kenya and produced by producers Philippe Bober and Christine Ruppert. It tells the story about Teresa, a middle-aged single mother who lives in Austria with her adolescent daughter. Teresa is looking for the love she can't find in her native country and goes on vacation to Kenya with three friends. There are many young men to choose from in East Africa, but in her search for an affectionate partner she is bothered to the point of harassment. Teresa begins to doubt that she'll ever find someone who can love her as she is, but then she meets a young man named Munga and her hot and sunny holiday changes.
Precisely and statically directed by Austrian filmmaker Ulrich Seidl, this quietly paced fictional tale which is narrated from multiple viewpoints, draws a pointed and unrestrained portrayal of a woman's meeting with another culture and her quest for love in a cynical paradise far away from home. While notable for its distinct naturalistic milieu depictions, colorful production design by production designers Andreas Donhauser and Renate Martin, prominent cinematography by American cinematographer Edward Lachman and Austrian cinematographer Wolfgang Thaler, strong contrasts and raw authenticity, this character-driven drama challenges the perception of beauty and depicts a fine though unsettling study of character.
This bleak and at times humiliating portrait of human beings and interpersonal communication where a woman sets out to buy love for money and tries to find out if being loved for one's personality rather than one's surface is possible, is impelled and reinforced by its cogent narrative structure, improvised dialog, variegated characters, the brave and reverent acting performance by Margarethe Tiesel who really goes into the core of her contradicting protagonist and the realistic acting performances by the first-time actors. An externally bright, internally dark and scornfully humorous tale about an inhumane sex market where all boundaries have been crossed and where the distinction between animals and human beings are long gone.
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