In PARADISE: Faith Ulrich Seidl explores what it means to carry the cross. For Anna Maria, a single woman in her 50s, paradise lies with Jesus. She devotes her summer vacation to doing missionary work, carrying from door to door a 15"-high statue of the Wandering Mother of God. One day, when after years of absence her husband, an Egyptian and Muslim, comes home, her life goes off its rails. Hymns and prayers are now joined by fighting. PARADISE: Faith recounts the stations of the cross of a marriage and the longing for love. It is the second segment of Ulrich Seidl's PARADISE Trilogy. At its world premiere in competition at the Venice Film Festival the film sparked a major scandal because of a scene involving masturbation.
Austria, Germany, France 2012 | 113 min | German | Super 16 mm | 35 mm blow up
Director: Ulrich Seidl | Screenplay: Ulrich Seidl, Veronika Franz | Artistic collaborator: Veronika Franz | Camera: Wolfgang Thaler, Ed Lachman | Sound: Ekkehart Baumung |Art directors: Renate Martin, Andreas Donhauser | Costumes: Tanja Hausner |
Casting: Eva Roth | Editor: Christof Schertenleib | Unit manager: Konstantin Seitz | Production manager: Max Linder |
Cast: Maria Hofstätter, Nabil Saleh, Natalija Baranova, René Rupnik
Production company: Ulrich Seidl Filmproduktion GmbH | Wasserburgergasse 5/7 | 1090 Vienna, Austria
T +43 1 3102824 | F +43 1 31956 - 64 | E email@example.com | www.ulrichseidl.com
Austrian distributor: Stadtkino Filmverleih und Kinobetriebsgesellschaft m.b.H. | Spittelberggasse 3 |1070 Vienna, Austria
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World sales: Coproduction Office | 24, rue Lamartine | 75009 Paris, France
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Co-producers: Tatfilm, Parisienne de Production | With support from: Austrian Film Institute, Vienna Film Fund, Land Niederösterreich, Eurimages, Centre National de la Cinématographie | In collaboration with: ORF Film-/Fernsehabkommen, WDR, Arte, Degeto, Arte France Cinema
- Director's statement
"In the course of my work on Jesus, You Know (2003), a film about intimacy with God, we discovered that in Austria (and probably elsewhere, too) there are thousands of so-called Wandering Mother of God statues in circulation. They are carried by pious Catholics - mostly women - and taken into homes and apartments. People who accept one of these Mother of Gods expect healing effects for their physical and psychological afflictions. Aside from this being a fantastic story for a film, the house visits were ideal to tell 'small stories' within a larger story, a film structure that I have used ever since my first theatrical feature Good News." – Ulrich Seidl
"Both Ms. Hofstätter and Mr. Saleh - this is his first role - are brilliantly convincing, to an almost alarming degree."
The New York Times
"A disarmingly funny and tender examination of sex and religion."
"Grotesquely funny, shocking, cruel, harrowing, or all of the above."
"Startling imagery, ambiguous morality and ruthless black humor."
"Radical in both in its form and content, Ulrich Seidl's film aims far beyond the obvious provocation of its ruthless scenes. It is a reflection on the excrescences of religious worship, consisting of impressively ascetic images."
"With its formal clarity and emotional force, Seidl's film is in a different league from the Lido competitors we have seen so far."
"Regardless whether you reject or admire their implacability, Seidl's movies are events, and PARADISE: Faith especially more so."
- Awards | Festivals
"Best Actress" for Maria Hofstätter, Austrian Film Prize, 2014
"Best Austrian Film - Papierener Gustl", Austrian Film Prize, 2014
"Grand Diagonale Acting Prize'' for Maria Hofstätter, Austria, 2013
"Best European Sound Design", European Film Awards of the European Film Academy for Matz Müller and Erik Mischijew, Berlin, 2013
"Grand Jury Prize", Venice International Film Festival, 2012
"Premio CinemAvvenire", Venice International Film Festival, 2012
"Best screenplay & Eurimages Prize (Best Co-production)", Seville, 2012
World premiere: In competition at the 69th Venice International Film Festival, 2012
Toronto IFF, PÖFF, Auteur Film Festival Belgrad, Berlinale/Akademie der Künste, Austrian Film Festival, Sofia IFF, Febio Fest, Hong Kong IFF, Istanbul FF, Helsinki IFF, BAFICI, Indielisboa, Jeonju FF, Transilvania IFF, Sydney Film Festival, Luna Films/Festival, Art Film Fest, Yerevan IFF Golden Apricot, Motovun Film Festival, New Zealand IFF, Sarajevo FF, Espóo Cine, Haifa FF, German FF, Taipei Golden Horse, Palić European FF
© Ulrich Seidl Filmproduktion