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1,462 Ratings

Paradise: Love

Paradies: Liebe

Directed by Ulrich Seidl
Austria, Germany, 2012


On the beaches of Kenya they’re known as “Sugar Mamas” — European women who seek out African 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, moving from beach to beach…

Our take

Austrian auteur Ulrich Seidl reaped awards and fans alike for his provocative Paradise trilogy (like John Waters!). Love starts the series of darkly comic tales about the human search for happiness, making bold connections between sex tourism and globalization through the lens of aging desire.

Paradise: Love Directed by Ulrich Seidl
The opening giggle of Seidl’s trilogy—Teresa’s own summertime scarlet letter—makes for a lapsed vision of love; the splintered logic of the route from Love’s laughter to a screaming Faith means ending with the tiresome, breathless Hope for a paradise that may not exist at all. In Seidl’s sometimes beautiful, beguiling hall of walls and windows—not a mirror in sight—one hopes with whispers.
January 21, 2014
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While in this scene [where the women fail to arouse the young local man], Teresa explores and exploits the limits of her control, her sexual commands are subsequently rejected by a young waiter she previously ridiculed with her friend, leaving her with a sense of shame and disillusionment, sentiments of powerlessness ruthlessly framed within an economy of exploitation.
December 18, 2013
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Seidl forces us to stare prejudice and venality directly in the eye (as Teresa constantly demands of her love interests during foreplay) and know that while human beings walk this Earth, it will never go away. Some of the visual metaphors are extremely blunt – ravenous crocodiles at feeding time, a beach segregated by race and class – but they all intricately executed.
June 13, 2013
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