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(aka "Paradise: Faith" or "Paradies: Glaube")


directed by Ulrich Seidl
Austria/Germany/France 2012


The second film in Ulrich Seidl's "Paradise" trilogy looks at Austria's increasing conservatism and racial intolerance through the unseeing eyes of X-ray technician Anna Maria (Maria Hofstätter, DOG DAYS). Although claims to be staying at home for vacation, she is actually doing missionary work of a sort. Her mission: as part of "the Church's assault troop" to make Austria Catholic again, and that consists of trying to convert the country's immigrant population, non-practicing Catholics (including a widowed man and divorced woman who are committed by unmarried), and anyone else of which she disapproves by badgering them into praying with the Madonna. Her efforts are hindered by the reappearance of her paraplegic Egyptian Muslim husband Nabil (Nabil Saleh), who she married in order to convert to Catholicism (one of her many "sacrifices" since she believes she only really needs God's love). As she encounters more volatile resistance to her efforts (from people severely marginalized by the Austrian racism and intolerance) - including Nabil who starts commiserating with Allah over his wife's treatment of him - the literally self-flagellating Anna Maria experiences her own figurative "stations of the cross"; but is she strong enough to endure what she interprets as God testing her.

Less visually provocative than PARADISE: LOVE, PARADISE: FAITH might boast people and situations more familiar to international audiences that the first film's take on sexual tourism. Seidl's approach is off-putting at first, with the protagonist's actions viewed from an objective distance. It is a required perspective, however, to understand behavior that at first seems masochistic - indeed her husband believes that her religion is the cause of what he believes is her unhappiness - but it is actually she who seems cruel and selfish. On the other hand, her devotion and (unrequited?) love increasingly isolates her and blinds her to genuine human suffering (including her own), leaving her with only one futile response when she feels abandoned. Ultimately, she's a less sympathetic protagonist than that of the first film, but certainly more complex.

Eric Cotenas


Theatrical Release: 21 March 2013 (Germany)

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DVD Review: Strand Releasing - Region 1 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Strand Releasing

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 1:53:44

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 8.2 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio German/Arabic Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles English (burnt-in)
Features Release Information:
Studio: Strand Releasing

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• Photo Gallery
• Theatrical Trailer (16:9; 1:45)
• Trailers for the other two films in the Paradise Trilogy
• Trailers for 'White Elephant', 'Post Tenebras Lux', 'In the Fog', and 'Zaytoun'

DVD Release Date: October 22nd, 2013

Chapters 12



Strand Releasing's dual-layer disc features a high-bitrate, progressive, anamorphic encoding of this Super 16mm-lensed production (mastered in 2K and projected in DCinema and 35mm blow-up). The night scenes are less grainy than in PARADISE: LOVE, but they may have had more control over the shooting situations than in the Kenyan setting of the aforementioned film. The German Dolby Digital 5.1 track is restrained, but that's the nature of the film's original mix. The English subtitles are burnt-in, with a couple ungrammatical passages seeming to translate the "broken German" of an Egyptian immigrant character. There are no extras apart from a photo gallery and the film's trailer (as well as films for the other two entries and three more Strand titles).

  - Eric Cotenas


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Strand Releasing

Region 1 - NTSC



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