1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Not for everybody.,
This review is from: Paradise Boxset [DVD] (DVD)
I do not consider myself an admirer of the "artsy" films, but I enjoyed and appreciated a lot of films offered by an independent European cinema, being somewhat of a follower of the "Dogme 95" movement in film. Recently, there was a discussion at work about Ulrich Seidl and his "Trilogy", one by one my colleagues borrowed and watched films offered by this dvd-set and all of us were confused, disappointed and somewhat offended by the films. One of my colleagues referred to the films as a "catastrophe".
To sum up, the films are a realistic, unforgiving portrayal of lives of 3 Austrian women, all of them related. These are the stories of a middle-aged sex tourists in Kenya ("Love"), Catholic missionary in the modern day Austria refusing to have sex with her Muslim husband yet pleasuring herself with the cross ("Faith") and a 13-year old girl at a weight-loss clinic, binge-eating at night and falling in love with her doctor ("Hope"). The films are less than 2 hours each but all of them felt like they were dragging on forever. The scenes (i.e. a girl texting her friend, a naked Kenyan man sitting on the bed) lasted for minutes at a time. The films felt extremely sad, depressing to me, even though I did not feel for any of the characters.
The harsh realism was a bit too much, over the top. I understand that Mr Seidl's intention was to show a society that holds out impossible standards of beauty and youth, of our tolerance and respect towards each other, but this could have been done by merging all of the films together. I appreciate that each film is a separate spiritual and physical journey of two women and one young girl on their quest for love, but each story, albeit very powerful in theory, left me checking my watch every ten minutes or so, when presented on screen.
Not for me. And I am sad to admit this as I was quite looking forward to seeing the films.