Paradise: Love Image
Metascore
65

Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics What's this?

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7.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 4 Ratings

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  • Summary: Teresa travels to the beaches of Kenya as a sex tourist. There, she moves from one Beach Boy to the next, buying their love only to be disappointed and quickly learn that there, love is strictly a business. [Strand Releasing]
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 16
  2. Negative: 3 out of 16
  1. Reviewed by: Michael Atkinson
    Apr 23, 2013
    100
    It might be the most lonesome film about a tropical vacation we've seen, and the greatest film ever made about the weird socioeconomics of tourism.
  2. Reviewed by: Leslie Felperin
    Apr 23, 2013
    90
    Repulsive and sublimely beautiful, arguably celebratory and damning of its characters, it’s hideous and masterful all at once, “Salo” with sunburn.
  3. Reviewed by: David Fear
    Apr 23, 2013
    80
    The importance of Tiesel’s performance here can’t be overstated, and even during what is easily the most excruciating birthday-party scene involving cock ribbons ever, the actor lends an incredibly profound sense of sorrow to the film’s pitilessness.
  4. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Apr 25, 2013
    70
    A tour de force of meticulous cruelty, a comic melodrama that elicits laughter and empathy and then replaces those responses with squirming discomfort.
  5. Reviewed by: Tom Dawson
    Jun 9, 2013
    60
    Though it covers similar thematic ground to Laurent Cantet’s haiti-set "Heading South," Seidl’s gruelling film proves his knack for leaving viewers emotionally discomfited.
  6. Reviewed by: Peter Bradshaw
    Apr 23, 2013
    60
    Does the film tell us anything we didn't know already? And could anyone expect anything but the most straightforward irony in the title? The answer to both questions is no – but there is undoubted technique, and an authorial address to the audience.
  7. Reviewed by: Farran Smith Nehme
    Apr 26, 2013
    25
    Seidl sternly rejects nuance. All the women are crude and insensitive, all the men are desperate and exploited. Despite copious full-frontal nudity, it’s an unrelievedly puritanical and didactic film.

See all 16 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Mar 5, 2014
    10
    Paradise: Love aka Paradies Liebe is a 2012 film produced and directed by Ulrich Seidl which follows the story of Teresa, an Austrian social worker as a sex-tourist in Kenya.

    Despite the fact that the title suggests both Paradise and love, the production has very little to do with either of these meanings, if at all. At first, the Paradisiacal scenery of Kenya’s beaches are mesmerising enough to sway us far away from realities that are commonplace in these beautiful third-world countries. As the film progresses, we begin to see that Paradise is actually a place of human decay and debauchery where local men willingly sell ‘love’ as a means of survival.

    Their clients? Western women such as Teresa, who travel there principally in search of true love but who quickly learn that in Paradise, love is merely a business. And as with any business, she is expected to pay for it if she is to live the experience.

    There is definite harmony between Margarethe Tiesel’s wonderful performance and Ulrich Seidl’s camerawork which contributes to both the message and the quality of this production. Tiesel rises to the challenge by flaunting a flabby-fat and cellulite ridden body as a sexy and desirable one with which she is completely at ease. It’s probably a challenge any actor would find difficult. In Paradise, Teresa more than ever, embraces the desirable woman within, following the undivided attention that young handsome men show her.

    In the beginning despite her reluctance to accept the ‘type of love’ that Paradise has to offer, she succumbs to and accepts that in order to be experienced, love must first go through the body. And in this way, Seidl introduces the audience to the more acute issues of human condition as well as the philosophical dimension that Paradise Love has.

    Seidl makes us watch this movie through the eyes and mind of Teresa – through her dilemmas, desires, insecurities, highs and lows. Through Teresa’s mind, behaviour and attitudes, Seidl achieves the goal of forcing us to look at women from a less-traditional light. And in doing this, he shows that men’s reasons for prostitution are similar to most women’s. If we allow ourselves to get even more philosophical than this, we can draw the conclusion that money - therefore power - is all that is needed to overthrow deep rooted traditions and habits; in this case, female power and dominance in male dominated societies.

    Of course, the film builds a bridge between past and present by unveiling racism and colonial-mentality as a social issue; the whites exploit the blacks in their own territory. There is clear symbolism there as with the rope that segregates the white westerners from the ‘beach boys’ who are patiently waiting to prey on a white female in search of Paradise Love. Naivety would exhort us to wonder who the prey actually is: the white woman or the black man. However, there can be only one answer: the financially deprived.

    Undoubtedly, the majority of the scenes are disturbing and stomach-churning but I like the fact that Seidl doesn’t judge reality. Instead, he shows it for what it is. But in doing so it points the mirror in our direction; and there, a diatribe can be read – one that directly concerns the human mindset for haughtiness, exploitation and disdain towards the ones we consider to be inferior.

    From a female perspective however, Seidl seeks to point out women’s constant preoccupation with sex and pleasure, their insecurities regarding this aspect, as well as their ongoing need to seek male validation.
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  2. Dec 27, 2013
    8
    The first movie of the 'Paradise' trilogy. All the three stories happen in the same time in different locations with different themes. But the protagonists from all the three were a family like two sisters and a daughter. So this movie which unfolds the story of 'Love' of a woman who is mother to a 13 year old. And her journey afar seeking men who make love. Kinda never heard about men called 'sugar mamas' so for me this movie was totally afresh.

    It chronicles the story of a 50 year old Austrian women Teresa who travels to Kenya seeking sexual pleasure. As she arrived her destination to a seaside resort she begin to explore like what most of the European women come there to seek. She finds her man but as they all are prostitute do they find her an attractive as she's a fat woman from the north. She tumble into a confusion state but sooner she things she got her perfect one. Does it long lost or she slip it away as usual for her typical reasons is the remaining.

    The movie had a strong nude scene all over but not sexual intercourse like reality. If there are no beautiful young women and men that mean it is not belong to an adult movie. Sex is still a sex with any age men and women so I consider it is an adult movie which suits only for selected audience to view. When it comes to the story it was completely different than most of the movie that belongs to male prostitution theme. Much appreciable for the director for his unique approach to tell on the social issues.
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