Paradise: Love

paradiseloveTeresa (Margarethe Tiesel), a 50-year-old Austrian tourist, goes to a beach resort in Kenya where she finds friends among other middle-aged women… and sex in the shape of young, black men looking for a “sugarmommy”. Women as sex tourists is a theme that was successfully depicted in Heading South (2005), but this film takes an even more realistic, penetrating look at the phenomenon. It’s hard to generate sympathy for these sexist and racist women, but Tiesel delivers a shatteringly naked and tragic portrait of Teresa. She’s the standout in a film that is earnest, but always takes obvious paths storywise.

2012-Austria-Germany-France. 120 min. Color. Directed by Ulrich Seidl. Screenplay: Ulrich Seidl, Veronika Franz. Cast: Margarethe Tiesel (Teresa), Peter Kazungu (Munga), Inge Maux (Teresa’s friend), Dunja Sowinetz, Helen Brugat, Gabriel Mwarua.

Trivia: Original title: Paradies: Liebe. The other two films in the trilogy are Paradise: Faith (2012) and Paradise: Hope (2013).

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