The first part of the Paradise trilogy by Austrian director Ulrich Seidl offers a provocative insight into the relationship between Europe and Africa.
On the beaches of Kenya they're known as Sugar Mamas: middle-aged European women to whom black beach boys offer sex to earn a living. Teresa, a 50-year-old Austrian, travels as a sex tourist to this vacation paradise in search of the thrills of lovemaking. Looking for ‘true love’ on the idyllic beaches of Kenya, she comes to grips with both sides of the coin: the emotional side, leading her from joy to disappointment, as well as the material one, making her acknowledge her financial and white superiority over the destitute natives. Feeling racially superior, how far is she prepared to go in living out her sexual fantasies?
»Paradise is the promise of a state of permanent happiness, a word that for many conjures up the desire for sun, sea, freedom, love and sex, as well as a commonly abused concept in the tourism industry. The title thus represents all three of the film’s stories, because in them three women set out to fulfil their unfulfilled dreams and longings.« (Ulrich Seidl)
Born in 1952 in Vienna. A pre-eminent European filmmaker, Seidl employs a signature fusion of humour and sharp social commentary, displayed in films such as Animal Love, Dog Days and Import/Export. In 2003 he founded Ulrich Seidl Filmproduktion, and has since then produced his own movies. After the Paradise trilogy he is to complete a documentary feature, In the Basement, which explores the Austrian attitude towards basements.