Paradise: Faith

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Austria | 2012 | 120 minutes | Ulrich Seidl

September 13 - 19, 2013

The second film of Ulrich Seidl’s Paradise trilogy explores religious fanaticism with a missionary whose work is disrupted by the sudden return of her paraplegic Muslim husband.

Anna Maria (Maria Hofstatter, one of the director's frequent collaborators), is the fanatically religious self-flagellating sister of the main character from Paradise: Love, who decides to spend her vacation time doing missionary work in the suburbs of Vienna. With a foot-high statue of the Virgin Mary in tow, she travels through immigrant communities imposing her beliefs on those she meets. Her work is interrupted by the surprise return of her husband Nabil (Nabil Saleh), an Egyptian Muslim who has been absent for two years and is now confined to a wheelchair. He is shocked by the change in his wife, and the two soon engage in an abrasive theological face-off.

In Paradise: Faith the always daring director Ulrich Seidl gleefully examines the hypocrisies of religious zealotry through expressive confrontation, satire, and a shockingly explicit chance encounter. But the film also shows tenderness, as the relationship between husband and wife, fractured as it may have become, is their true saving grace.

Note: this film contains some scenes of a graphic sexual nature. 

  • Director: Ulrich Seidl
  • Principal Cast: Maria Hofstätter, Nabil Saleh, Natalija Baranova, Rene Rupnik, Dieter Masur, Trude Masur
  • Country: Austria, Germany, France
  • Year: 2012
  • Running Time: 120 minutes
  • Language: German
  • Has Subtitles: Yes
  • Format: DCP
  • US Distributor: Strand Releasing