The Paradise Trilogy ╳ Ulrich Seidl

Art Blog - Ulrich Seidl - Empty Kingdom

Filmmaker Ulrich Seidl examines the virtues and capacities of Love // Liebe, Faith // Glaube, and Hope // Hoffnung in a trilogy meant for the shores of paradise.

Check out more summary info for each of the films as follows (via Film Institude and Visions Du Reel):

Synopsis for PARADISE: LOVE.


“On the beaches of Kenya they’re known as Sugar Mamas: European women to whom black beach boys offer sex to earn a living. Teresa, a 50-year-old from Austria, travels as a sex tourist to this vacation paradise in search of love. She goes from one beach boy to the next, from one disappointment to the next. The first film in Ulrich Seidl’s PARADISE trilogy tells of older women and young men, of Europe and Africa, and of the exploited, who have no choice but to victimize other victims.”


Synopsis for PARADISE: FAITH.


“In “PARADISE: FAITH” Ulrich Seidl explores what it means to carry the cross. For Anna Maria, a single Austrian in her 50s, paradise lies with Jesus. She devotes her summer vacation to doing missionary work. On her daily pilgrimage through Vienna, she goes from door to door, carrying a foot high statue of the Virgin Mary. One day, when after years of absence, her husband, an Egyptian Muslim confined to a wheelchair, comes home, her life goes off its rails.”


Synopsis for PARADISE: HOPE.


“Her mother in Kenya, 13-year-old Melanie spends her summer vacation in a strict diet camp set in the Austrian countryside. Between workouts and nutrition classes, pillow fights and first cigarettes, she falls in love with a doctor 40 years her senior- and in all innocence sets out to seduce him. “PARADISE: HOPE” is a “teen camp” movie that tells of the unconditionality of first love.”


Director’s background:


“Ulrich Seidl was born in Vienna in 1952 and grew up in the town of Horn in Lower Austria. He studied journalism, art history and drama in Vienna, supporting himself with odd jobs, before entering the prestigious Vienna Film Academy at the age of 26. In 1980 he made his first documentary, Einsvierzig. Following the controversy surrounding his second film, Der Ball (1982) – a wickedly satirical portrait of the graduation ball in his home town – Seidl was asked to leave the Film Academy. In 1990 he returned to the scene with the feature-length documentary Good News. Within the decade Seidl was to make seven more documentaries for cinema and television, winning much acclaim and many prizes for his work.


Hundstage – Dog Days, his first fiction film, was released in 2001 and won several important awards, beginning with the grand jury prize at the Venice Film Festival in 2001. The same year also saw the release of Zur Lage / State of the Nation, a critical survey of Austria under its far-right coalition government. Seidl initiated, oversaw and co-directed the project, which also contains episodes directed by Barbara Albert, Michael Glawogger and Michael Sturminger. In 2003 he is planning to release Jesus, du weisst – a very strong film, he promises.”

Scroll on down to the bottom of this page to view more embedded media goodness.

Art Blog - Ulrich Seidl - Empty Kingdom

Art Blog - Ulrich Seidl - Empty Kingdom

Art Blog - Ulrich Seidl - Empty Kingdom

Art Blog - Ulrich Seidl - Empty Kingdom

Art Blog - Ulrich Seidl - Empty Kingdom

Art Blog - Ulrich Seidl - Empty Kingdom

Trailer for PARADISE: LOVE.

Trailer for PARADISE: FAITH.

Trailer for PARADISE: HOPE.

Paradise: Love // Paradies: Liebe, 2012
Paradise: Faith // Paradies: Glaube, 2012
Paradise: Hope // Paradies: Hoffnung, 2013

Ulrich Seidl