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 ('...
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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 »
In a suburb of Vienna during some hot summer days: A teacher who is in bondage to a sleazy pimp, a very importunate hitchhiker, a private detective on the run for some car vandals, a couple... 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 »
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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 ('Paradise: Love') and her aunt does missionary work ('Paradise: Faith'), Melanie spends her summer vacation at a strict diet camp for overweight adolescents. Between physical education and nutrition counseling, pillow fights and her first cigarette, Melanie falls in love with the camp director, a doctor forty years her senior. As the doctor struggles with the guilty nature of his desire, Melanie had imagined her paradise differently. Written by
Ulirch Seidl's 'Paradise' trilogy focuses on female unhappiness: the first two movies were almost unwatchably painful, as they charted their protagonists' unfortunate plights and self-harming behaviour. The third film is not quite so gloomy, although its title 'Hope' is almost certainly meant ironically, but there is hope here, if only because it's younger characters still have the chance to turn around their lives. Equally, the film's purpose seems a little less clear than its predecessors: some overweight, but basically normal teenagers attend a weight-loss camp, where they face a measure of abuse from the adults who run it. The most poignant moment in the film comes when the lead character, the daughter of the protagonist in the first film, desperately calls her mother (who we know to be trapped in her own form of hell), a sign of a human bond that has hitherto not been revealed. Overall, it's still hard to know what to make of the trilogy, except as a series of observations on quite how hard it is to make meaningful connections with those around us.
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