July 11, 2013

Paradise: Faith (2012)

Paradise: Faith (2012)
Directed by: Ulrich Seidl
Country: Austria / Germany / France

Review: Ulrich Seidl’s ability to disturb through psychological aspects is wide known, and the second part of The Paradise trilogy confirms exactly that, this time associated to faith issues. Nothing could have been more convenient than join in the same house a religious fanatic woman, Anna Maria (Maria Hofstatter), who is literally in love with Jesus (really?), to the point of masturbate herself with a crucifix, and her Muslim husband, Nabil (Nabil Saleh), who became paraplegic and returned home after an absence of two years just to realize that his wife got insane. Beyond this fact, we can follow Anna Maria going door-to-door, carrying a statue of the Virgin Mary and trying to convert immigrant people to Catholicism. Every scene was depicted with a deep mockery associated to its human decadence, and revealing a bizarre side that is quite common in Seidl’s films. Great part of them were ludicrous, with often unintelligent dialogues, and evincing the same tireless urge to shock us somehow. Contrary to what may seem, this religious battle of Anna Maria with herself and with the world, didn’t bring anything significant to be debated, being just an art-house exercise punctuated with enough strong sexual content and profanity. Through confident static shots and an impeccable direction, Seidl shows his admirable technical skills, but there’s not much to take from “Paradise:Faith”, which showed too much degradation to be likable, in addition to its opportune plot manipulations.

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