Paradies: Glaube Austria, France, Germany 2012 – 113min.

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Paradies: Glaube

Movie Rating: Agathe Tissier

An Austrian radiologist prays to purge the sins of her compatriots, attempting to convert whomever she can.

An Austrian radiologist, Maria (Maria Hoffstätter) finds refuge in her extreme love for Jesus. Her sanitized house has become a veritable sanctuary; it is decorated with such sobriety that there is room only for her principal determination: praying to purge the sins of her compatriots to the point of practicing self-flagellation. She uses her vacations to travel to poor immigrant neighborhoods, going from family to family with her rosary and statue of Mary, trying to convert them to her religion. Her husband Nabil, who turns up at her house after a few years, this time in a wheelchair due to an accident, has a hard time finding his place among the crucifixes in each room. So he tries to get Jesus out of his wife's head by reinstalling the TV in the middle of the living room and hanging up his certificate of his pilgrimage to Mecca again...

Ulrich Seidl's second film in his trilogy is purified to the extreme, its images framed with religious rigor. With Paradise: Love, Paradise: Faith and Paradise: Hope, Seidl offers three stunning portraits of women. Watching Maria pray with such fervor, where faith borders on insanity, is a fascinating spectacle, but one suitable only for a patient audience.



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