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763 Ratings

Arabian Nights: Volume 1, the Restless One

As Mil e Uma Noites: Volume 1, O Inquieto

Directed by Miguel Gomes
Portugal, France, 2015
  • Portuguese
  • English


In Portugal, over 600 shipyard workers are being laid off. An apiarist fights off an invasion of foreign bees. An African wizard creates an aerosol spray that cures impotence in world leaders and IMF financiers. A judge puts a cockerel on trial for crowing too early.

Our take

Three volumes, three unidentified filmic objects of uncommon beauty, and three instant classics of contemporary cinema. Miguel Gomes’ outstanding masterpiece takes over.

Arabian Nights: Volume 1, the Restless One Directed by Miguel Gomes
Gomes welds two major stylistic and directorial strands he has manifested in his previous works into an unified directorial vision: the magical realism of his so-called musical comedies such as A Cara que Mereces (The Face You Deserve, 2004) and the docu-fiction of Aquele Querido Mês de Agosto (Our Beloved Month of August, 2008).
September 14, 2016
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Coscripted with Mariana Ricardo and Telmo Churro, the films deftly blend political satire, escapist fable, and reporting on the unemployed… The films are enchanting for their irony, their humanity, and their reflexiveness.
February 11, 2016
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A three-part, six-hour, funny, sad, ambitious, and frequently bewildering epic… Gradually it becomes clear that Gomes isn’t out to make a grand political statement, but rather to create a sweeping mosaic that reflects the confusion and vitality of life at the moment of the work’s creation. In this regard, ARABIAN NIGHTS suggests a cinematic analogue to the Clash’s triple album Sandinista! (1980), replete with in-jokes, sloganeering, and passages of failed experimentation.
February 05, 2016
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