3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
At this point, "very interesting" is all I can come up with. Perhaps later I'll be able to be more articulate.
I'll try---first off, the lead actress is amazing! Not only her fearlessness in showing her body but also in showing the full range of her emotions. Mostly, what she impressed me with was her innocence. The other Austrian tourists she met were more or less jaded in their expectations of getting sex for money from these African young men. This woman, our heroine, was actually looking for love. It amazed me how many times she tried, again and again, to find love with these fellows who were clearly doing what they were doing for money. I was also amazed at her naive, but genuine sweetness, as when she met the young "sister" of her first lover and the school children. I also have to give her credit for her dancing...she managed some great moves, there.
What emerged for me, was a picture of a genuinely sweet, but muddled middle class, middle-aged Austrian woman, who could have been any woman from any Western country, as she looked for love. The opening scene shows her at her job which is as a teacher of developmentally disabled adults. She clearly has a big heart. She's not married, her teenage daughter would rather talk on the phone than to her, there is no man in sight, she is rather obsessive about cleanliness. She thinks she is old and fat but she'd really like to believe that she is still desirable. It's all so terribly typical of a lot of women....maybe men, too.
Besides the bald picture of the game of prostitution and mutual exploitation, there is this unexpected beauty that the film shows. The beach at Kenya is gorgeous although studded with men waiting to sell themselves to the female tourists. What struck me was the unexpected beauty of the tiny homes of the African men....especially that of "Mumba," her first "boyfriend," His room, although very humble was quite beautiful. I loved the prints of the fabrics, the colors of the walls, the sheer lavender net that fell over the bed/ Was this for mosquitoes? Maybe...but when he unfolded it and she lay in it, the scene was quite beautiful. Rodin would have loved her! The scene of Mumba, stretched out, nude, on the bed, was quite splendid, too. She recorded this with her cell phone which was terrible funny and just, terrible, But at the same time, he was so beautiful, that you couldn't blame her.
I think it is this position of the film maker -- of objectivity---non-judgement as he showed what the poor Black African men did and what the middle class White Austrian women did that give this film it's value. He doesn't spare us any of the details but even the most bald nude scenes are shown with such honesty that I found it all quite amazing. Obviously every viewer will see this differently, some with moral judgment, some with shock, some with sociological tsk-tsk-ing. For me, it's just quite amazing. I am reminded of a line from a Tennessee Williams play, that "nothing human is disgusting." I look forward to seeing the rest of this film maker's Paradise trilogy.