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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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
Very conflicted on this. On one hand, to see an honest portrayal of colonialism is good, but on the other hand...it seems too quaint in that regard. All of the colonialism is just a backdrop for an illicit love affair, told beautifully and with an interesting style. Not exploitative, but not exactly illuminating, either.