Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Bill Duke's 'Dark Girls' Follow-up, 'Light Girls,' Gets a First Trailer & Release date (Heading to OWN) Bill Duke's 'Dark Girls' Follow-up, 'Light Girls,' Gets a First Trailer & Release date (Heading to OWN) Watch Trailer for Romcom 'With This Ring' (Regina Hall, Jill Scott, Eve Star - Coming January 2015) Watch Trailer for Romcom 'With This Ring' (Regina Hall, Jill Scott, Eve Star - Coming January 2015) Here Are the Top 10 Grossing "Black Films" of 2014... How Many of Them Did You See? Here Are the Top 10 Grossing "Black Films" of 2014... How Many of Them Did You See? Debbie Allen & Phylicia Rashad Sign Up for 'Arsenic and Old Lace' Playing the Brewster Sisters Debbie Allen & Phylicia Rashad Sign Up for 'Arsenic and Old Lace' Playing the Brewster Sisters Weekend B.O. Dec. 19-21 (Sony's Grateful for Small Blessings, while Paramount Blew it) Weekend B.O. Dec. 19-21 (Sony's Grateful for Small Blessings, while Paramount Blew it) Ava DuVernay Has Multi-Episode TV Series on "Black Experience in America" in the Works Ava DuVernay Has Multi-Episode TV Series on "Black Experience in America" in the Works Sony Hack Reveals the Insufferable Whiteness of Hollywood Sony Hack Reveals the Insufferable Whiteness of Hollywood Preview: Jessica Williams of 'The Daily Show' Makes Leading Lady Debut in 'Tap Shoes & Violins' Preview: Jessica Williams of 'The Daily Show' Makes Leading Lady Debut in 'Tap Shoes & Violins' '106 & PARK' Says Goodbye Today, Dec 19 at 6pm, w/ Live, 2-hour, Star-Studded Finale! '106 & PARK' Says Goodbye Today, Dec 19 at 6pm, w/ Live, 2-hour, Star-Studded Finale! First Image of Queen Latifah as Bessie Smith in Upcoming HBO Biopic First Image of Queen Latifah as Bessie Smith in Upcoming HBO Biopic The Best of Black Television in 2014 The Best of Black Television in 2014 Review: Chris Rock's 'Top Five' Took Me Places I Wouldn't Expect a Chris Rock Film to Go Review: Chris Rock's 'Top Five' Took Me Places I Wouldn't Expect a Chris Rock Film to Go The Gift That Keeps on Giving - Leaked Sony Email Challenges Denzel Washington's Overseas Box Office Appeal The Gift That Keeps on Giving - Leaked Sony Email Challenges Denzel Washington's Overseas Box Office Appeal Backlash Against New VH1 Series 'Sorority Sisters' Backlash Against New VH1 Series 'Sorority Sisters' Why Aren’t We Talking About the Sexual Assault in 'Beyond the Lights'? Why Aren’t We Talking About the Sexual Assault in 'Beyond the Lights'? Woody Allen Says He Won’t Hire a Black Actor Unless the Role Calls for One... Whatever That Means Woody Allen Says He Won’t Hire a Black Actor Unless the Role Calls for One... Whatever That Means Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Lifetime Launches New Series Set In Elite World Of Hip-Hop Majorette Competitions (Watch Preview) Lifetime Launches New Series Set In Elite World Of Hip-Hop Majorette Competitions (Watch Preview) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

Upcoming Controversial Austrian-Produced Drama "Paradise" Tells Story Of Sex Tourism In Kenya

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act February 9, 2012 at 11:35AM

I've been following this project but just haven't written about it yet, mostly because information on it has been sparse. But a new development today prompted me to finally post something about it.
8
paradies paradise

I've been following this project but just haven't written about it yet, mostly because information on it has been sparse. But a new development today prompted me to finally post something about it.

Austrian filmmaker Ulrich Seidl’s drama Paradise, which follows 3 individual though interconnected stories of 3 women in love in 3 different locations, is now going to be released as three separate feature films, instead of 1.

One of those 3 stories that's now going to be its own inidividual movie with Kenya as its working title, is set in that east African country and centers on a 50 year old white women, sister of a missionary and a mother, who gets involved with a Kenyan "beach boy" as the director describes the character on his website, until she realizes that, in short, this relationship of theirs is really just business - aka *sex tourism*. 

Ulrich describes the woman as a "sugar mama" who's desperate to find love and acceptance, and at the behest of a friend, she goes on vacation to Kenya, where she hopes to find what she's missing, and hooks up with some young Kenyan stud who may or may not be really interested in her, and who may or may not be a hustler/male prostitute. 

Of course!

Where to begin with this... there's so much here to uncover, analyze and critique; but I need to learn more about the project before reaching any conclusions; as I said, details on it have been sparse, and still are. 

It reminds me of a 2005 French film titled Heading South (or Vers le sud) which stars Charlotte Rampling as one of 3 older white women who visit Haiti and indulge in all kinds of carnal desires with the young Haitian men they pay money to. Essentially, white women in their age bracket, in their own countries, aren't as *in demand* or as exalted as they might be in a poverty-stricken nation full of black Africans - speaking to that age-old belief that Caucasian women, regardless of all else, are like kryptonite to black men. 

Their value in what we could call the *sexual marketplace* rises significantly when they leave their world and enter the *other*. 

I'm not sure if Ulrich's film will carry a similar tone, transferring the action from Haiti to Kenya; we'll have to wait to see until more is revealed. It's actually an idea/theme that's ripe for exploration, even though this won't be the first time, and presents lots of opportunities to dissect and make commentary on matters of race, class, globalization, and subjects that seem to have been rendered taboo; my concern, as always, is just how the filmmaker will carry out his/her exploration; the direction and POV taken. 

It also doesn't comfort me when the filmmaker is from the majority, dominant, controlling group, and the story is told from the perspective of a character who belongs to that same group.

But the entire 3-film project will reportedly be ready in time for the Cannes Film Festival in May; and if S&A is there again, as we were last year, we'll get our first crack at it and all my questions will be answered.

It's worth noting that director Seidl's film have always been very frank, raw and controversial; he had some trouble financing this trilogy; the other 2 films, by the way, will be:

- A woman who spends her vacation proselytizing with statues of the Madonna until her husband, a Muslim, comes back from Egypt. They sing, they pray and they fight. "Wandering Madonna" is a filmic Pieta with the stations of the cross depicting a marriage.

And...

- Dietary Camp (working title) - the third story shows a young woman, overweight and curious. While her mother goes to Kenya, she spends her holidays at a dietary camp somewhere at the Semmering. There she falls in love with a doctor,  40 years older. She loves him with the exclusiveness of a first love. He however fights it – knowing that this cannot happen.

Till then... I'll continue watching its progress. Hopefully we'll get some media soon, like stills, a trailer, etc.

This article is related to: Coming Soon, Things That Make You Go Hmm...


Shadow & ActNewsletter