On the beaches of Kenya they're known as Sugar Mamas - European women who seek out African beach boys selling love to earn a living. Teresa, a 50-year-old Austrian and mother of a daughter entering puberty, travels to this vacation paradise as a sex tourist in search for love. She goes from one beach boy to the next, from one disappointment to the next. On the beaches of Kenya love is a business. PARADISE: Love tells, not without humor, of sex tourism, older women and young men, the market value of sexuality, the power of skin color, Europe and Africa, and of the exploited, who have no choice but to exploit others. Ulrich Seidl‘s film is the opener of a trilogy about three women in one family who take separate vacations: one as a sex tourist, another as a Catholic missionary (PARADISE: Faith) and the third at a diet camp for teenagers (PARADISE: Hope). Three women, three stories of desire that premiered one after the other at the three biggest A-festivals in the world: Cannes, Venice and Berlin.
Austria, Germany, France 2012 | 120 min | German | Super 16 mm | 35 mm blow up
Director: Ulrich Seidl | Screenplay: Ulrich Seidl, Veronika Franz | Artistic collaborator: Veronika Franz | Camera: Wolfgang Thaler, Ed Lachman | Sound: Ekkehart Baumung | Art directors: Renate Martin, Andreas Donhauser | Costumes: Tanja Hausner |
Casting: Eva Roth | Editor: Christof Schertenleib | Unit manager: Konstantin Seitz | Production manager: Max Linder |
Cast: Margarethe Tiesel, Peter Kazungu, Inge Maux, Dunja Sowinetz, Helen Brugat, Gabriel Mwarua, Josphat Hamisi, Carlos Mkutan
Production company: Ulrich Seidl Filmproduktion GmbH | Wasserburgergasse 5/7 | 1090 Vienna, Austria
T +43 1 3102824 | F +43 1 31956 - 64 | E firstname.lastname@example.org | www.ulrichseidl.com
Austrian distributor: Stadtkino Filmverleih und Kinobetriebsgesellschaft m.b.H. | Spittelberggasse 3 | 1070 Vienna, Austria
T +43 1 5224814 | F +43 1 5224815 | E email@example.com | www.stadtkinowien.at
World sales: Coproduction Office | 24, rue Lamartine | 75009 Paris, France
T +33 1 56026000 | F +33 1 56026001 | E firstname.lastname@example.org | www.coproductionoffice.eu
Co-producers: Tatfilm, Parisienne de Production | With support from: Austrian Film Institute, Vienna Film Fund, Land Niederösterreich, Eurimages, CNC (Centre national de la cinématographie) | In collaboration with: ORF Film-/Fernsehabkommen, WDR, Arte, Degeto, Arte France Cinema
- Director's statement
"I love to film people up close; to show their bodies without makeup. For me it's precisely in the unbeautified that you find something like beauty." – Ulrich Seidl
"A maestro of discomfort whose taste for confrontation masks a seriousness of purpose and a measure of compassion."
Dennis Lim, The New York Times
"Repulsive and sublimely beautiful… hideous and masterful all at once. (Pasolini's) Salo with sunburn."
Leslie Felperin, Variety
"Paradise: Love will haunt you like a bad wet dream."
Stephen Garrett, The New York Observer
"The pitilessly documented insight of this film is: It's war. Tourism is war. Life is war. As it is now, life is war. And. Because it is a beautiful film. A beautifully austere film. And gentle. That is why this state becomes so despairingly clear."
Marlene Streeruwitz, Die Zeit
"The image is monstrously comical and acidly captures the imbalance in wealth and power between the First and Third Worlds, the commodification of people and the barter of globalization."
Martina Knoben, Süddeutsche Zeitung
"Seidl's trip to Africa becomes a cinematic treatise about our values. And naturally about the human comedy, our propensity to deceive ourselves about our true intentions and reasons for what we do."
Gunnar Decker, Neues Deutschland
- Awards | Festivals
"Best Feature", Vienna Film Prize, Viennale, 2013
"Best Camerawork", Diagonale Prize for Wolfgang Thaler and Ed Lachman, Graz, 2013
"Best Art Design", Diagonale Prize for Renate Martin and Andreas Donhauser, Graz, 2013
"Best Actress", Austrian Film Prize for Margarethe Tiesel, 2013
"Best Feature", Austrian Film Prize, 2013
"Best Director", Austrian Film Prize, 2013
"Best Austrian Film - Paper Gustl", Austria, 2013
"Palić Tower - Best Director", Serbia, 2012
Paola Spena, Art Film Fest, Berlin, Karlovy Vary FF, Festival de La Rochelle, Sarajevo FF, The Echoes of KVIFF, Palić European FF, Motovun FF, Melbourne IFF, The Norwegian IFF, Espoo Ciné IFF, Telluride FF, Toronto IFF, Forum des Images/Étrange Festival, Helsinki IFF (Love & Anarchy), Vancouver IFF, Valdivia FF, Festival du Nouveau Cinéma Montréal, BFI London FF, Chicago IFF, Sao Paulo IFF, Ljubljana IFF, Taipei Golden Horse FF, Brisbane IFF, Auteur Film Festival Belgrad, Chennai IFF, Berlinale/Akademie der Künste, Sofia IFF, Hong Kong IFF, Istanbul FF, BAFICI, Indielisboa, European Film Week, Sydney FF, Luna Films/Fesitval, Yerevan IFF Golden Apricot, New Zealand IFF, Motovun FF, Sarajevo FF, Haifa FF, German FF, Taipei Golden Horse, Ster Kinekor South Africa, Centro cultural Sao Paulo, Palić European FF
© Ulrich Seidl Filmproduktion