A temperamental old woman, her Cape Verdean maid, and a socially-conscious neighbor live on the same floor of a Lisbon apartment complex. When the old lady falls ill, the other two learn of an outlandish episode from her youth: a story of love and crime set in Africa.
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A film of two halves in which the events of part one in present day Portugal meander into a reminiscence of events from days gone by in colonial Africa, a tragic love story featuring a character portrayed earlier during her sad final days. In tribute to Murnau’s Tabu, color and dialogue are dispensed with to make way for splendid monochrome cinematography and a poetic narration read by the director Gomes. A triumph..
This is nothing more than romanticised orientalism/ neo-colonialism dressed in nostalgic art film rags. C'mon, what happened to those critical faculties? Just because something is in b&w and superficially references Murnau doesn't mean it's a masterpiece. Expressionism-Lite for the "end of celluloid" crowd.
What a wonderful wonderful film. I particularly loved the sound editing (ref to the fact that the second part isn’t pure silent cinema but peppered with carefully selected background sounds, adding great effect to the melancholic mood of the film).
Beautiful, poetic and passionate homage to silent cinema conventions cleverly broken into two halves. "Paradise Lost' chronicles the supposed madness of a neighbor concluding with a affirmation of her past from an old lover. "Paradise' , the second half, is the homage to silent cinema telling the story of said woman's past in Africa some sixty years before. Beautiful cinematography, great performances, a total gem