HEAVY SPOILERS Teresa, a Austrian woman in the age of about 50, spends her holidays in a Kenyan beach resort. She meets there her disgustingly horny friends, and soon it is clear, that all the holidays are about is to get sex with young black men. Teresa is a little reluctant first, not knowing how to get in touch. This changes quickly, when she ends up in a cheap motel with the first of the many intrusive street merchants/de-facto male prostitutes. He treats her too harsh so she leaves in horror before intercourse starts. Though agonized at first, she meets the next day the softer and seemingly more romantic Munga, with whom she spends two days drinking, smoking dope and having sex. Munga starts to have steadily increasing financial demands, covered up by stories tho help relatives who are sick and in need. When Teresa refuses to give him more money, he forbids her to touch him and hides from her the next day. You can run, but never hide - soon she discovers at the beach, that his "sister" she got to know earlier is actually his wife, and berates him, rips his rastas and beats him in a humiliating way at the public beach - only to have sex with the next merchant later that day. This time, she gives that guy money without second thought, when he tells her, that he needs it for the treatment of his brother who "just" happened to have a motorcycle accident. The climax is Teresas birthday. While her teenage daughter does not give her a phone call, even when she reminds her on the mailbox for that, her Austrian friends have a "surprise". They try to start a sex party and have one Kenyan man with them, who strips for them. The four elder women try to heat him up, by stripping themselves, getting touchy e.g., so that he will get an erection - without success. Later, when the friends left, Teresa tries to have sex with a little shy clerk of the club, whom he seem earlier when she and another friend make fun of him in a little offensive way. Teresa throws him out angrily, when he refuses to lick her pussy. Then she cries. Seidls "paradise love" is a multidimensional movie, who is definitely hard to watch for the viewer. Especially the sex scenes are kind of an endurance test, for several reasons. You see the extremely obese Teresa partly or fully naked, and some of her friends. Also, while you never see the actual intercourse, the scenes are very long, and they deal mainly about, how Teresa kind of negotiates in an awkward way, what the males shall do and not (for example, how to touch her titties). While many other viewers say that they feel more for the Teresa towards the end of the movies, I feel different. When her need for a little romanticism is put to a test by Munga and she learns how prostitution there works, she becomes kind of mean, and even more demanding for cheap sex. In between she deals - towards her friends and the men - with her self-pity, telling them how ugly she is. The whole prostitution business is shown very realistic here, and not so much different how it works for men. I like how Seidl shows, despite their is a "mutual business agreement", it does not really work out many times. The Austrian women here are, despite sex-hungry, often a little racist and many times openly offensive towards the Kenyans. The interesting thing is, that the environment in that very touristic place supports that attitude. The most impressive picture, to me, is early in the movie: On one side, in the club, the all-white tourists laying on their sun lounges, on the other side, at the start of the beach, the lurking street merchants, just separated by a little white line - guarded by a paramilitary looking black guard of the club. The imagery is great, anyways; the camera man of this has a very good feeling how to use light and manages, f.e., to show the dream-like beach in a bright, but also cold and threatening light, one time. This movie is not fun, never mind what other critics say, and though some parts of it are very satirical, I think, it goes more in the drama direction - with a main character, that is hard to like. Anyway, it is strong, powerful movie, but only for those people, who like to look in the depths of human society, enjoy highly realistic movies, or like movies where you can think a lot about.
Teresa, a fifty-year-old Austrian mother, travels to the paradise of the beaches of Kenya, seeking out love from African boys. But she must confront the hard truth that on the beaches of Kenya, love is a business.
December 27, 2020