Paradise: Love

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Austria | 2012 | 120 minutes | Ulrich Seidl

Paradies: Liebe

June 21 - 27, 2013

50-year-old hausfrau Teresa becomes a "Sugar Mama" sex tourist, buying favors from Kenyan beach boys, in the first film of Austrian iconoclast Ulrich Seidl's Paradise trilogy.

Austrian iconoclast Ulrich Seidl's Paradise trilogy is an epic thematic tapestry telling the story of three women, whose stories delicately crossover between films, each finding themselves at a turning point in their lives while on a journey to find happiness. The first story, Paradise: Love, follows 50-year-old divorced hausfrau Teresa, who sends her daughter to weight loss camp before heading to the Kenyan beaches for a vacation. There, a salacious friend introduces her to the world of sexual tourism, where older women become "Sugar Mamas" for strapping young beach boys. Uncomfortable at first, Teresa eventually meets Munga (Peter Kuzungu), a more sensitive suitor who seems to feel a genuine affection towards the older woman. But it soon becomes unclear who is the exploiter and who is the exploited. Seidl sets the tone for the trilogy with his signature blend of realism, social commentary, and warped humor, which combines a rich pictorial sensibility—realized by master cinematographers Wolfgang Thaler and Ed Lachmann—with mostly improvised scripts, developed in the manner of Mike Leigh. Giving a truly brave performance is lead actress Margarethe Tiesel, who embodies the tragedy of a woman looking for true romance in a society where that is the one thing money cannot buy.

  • Director: Ulrich Seidl
  • Principal Cast: Margarethe Tiesel, Peter Kazungu, Inge Malix
  • Country: Austria, Germany, France
  • Year: 2012
  • Running Time: 120 minutes
  • Awards: Austrian Film awards 2012 (Best Film, Best Director, Best Actress)
  • Language: German
  • Has Subtitles: Yes
  • Format: DCP
  • US Distributor: Strand Releasing