- Margarethe Tiesel appears nude through much of the picture and has several graphic scenes with Kenyan beach boys
- Director said: 'Women from the rich West exploit young African men. But it's also a business, and they (the men) get something for it'
- It had its gala premiere yesterday in Cannes, where it is one of 22 films competing for the Palme d'Or
By Jill Reilly
PUBLISHED: 10:23 EST, 19 May 2012 | UPDATED: 10:31 EST, 20 May 2012
A graphic film featuring a middle-aged woman traveling to Africa for sex with male gigolos has been praised at Cannes Film Festival.
In Paradise: Love, the first part of a trilogy, director Ulrich Seidl explores the subject of sex tourism among rich, European white women
The film had its gala premiere yesterday where it is one of 22 films competing for the Palme d'Or.
Paradise: Love, stars Margaret Tiesel whose search for love turns increasingly predatory. Screened yesterday, Ms Tiesel appears nude through much of the film and has several graphic scenes with Kenyan beach boys
Strong views: 'Women from the rich West exploit young African men. But it's also a business, and they (the men) get something for it,' said director Ulrich Seidl
PARADISE: LOVE PLOT
Margarethe Tiesel plays divorcee Teresa, who packs her teen daughter off to weight-loss camp and heads to Kenya where a friend has assured her that sex is plentiful.
Soon she meets Munga (Peter Kazungu) and as their relationship develops Teresa believes he doesn't want money.
But soon he starts asking for funds, claiming he needs cash for his sister’s baby, his father’s medical bills or his cousin’s school, but never for himself.
The movie stars Margarethe Tiesel as a 50-year-old Austrian whose search for love turns increasingly predatory.
Previously a stage actress, this is her first major film role and she appears nude through much of the film and has several graphic scenes with Kenyan beach boys.
But the actress told journalists that she did not judge the character's behavior.
She said the movie examined female loneliness and the way 'people who are exploited at home travel abroad and become exploiters in turn.'
Mr Seidl, who looked at east-west friction in Europe in his 2007 Cannes entry 'Import/Export,' plans the film as the first in a trilogy about modern tourism.
The director views his European and African characters with the detached eye of an anthropologist. Seidl began as a documentary maker, and even on his fiction features shoots without scripted dialogue and mixes professional and nonprofessional actors.
'Paradise: Love' had a mixed reception from critics in Cannes.
Cast at Cannes: Actors Inge Maux, Peter Kazungu and Margarete Tiesl pose during the photocall
Theory: Ulrich Seidl, one of 22 directors competing for the top prize at Cannes this year, said many Western women were looking for more than a holiday fling, a key difference to male sex tourism in developing countries
Some accused it of reproducing the exploitation of Africans that it claims to examine — or, like the Hollywood Reporter, simply found it 'a psychologically empty wallow.'
Others praised the bravery of the actors, who are required to strip naked, physically and emotionally, as they enact the characters' sexual negotiations.
'It wasn't easy, it's true,' Ms Tiesel said.
'It was a challenge to surpass yourself, to go beyond your comfort zone. But in the beginning Ulrich said to me: 'Nothing will happen that you don't want to happen.' So that reassured me.'
Mr Seidl said many Western women were looking for more than a holiday fling, a key difference to male sex tourism in developing countries.
'Women from the rich West exploit young African men. But it's also a business, and they (the men) get something for it,' reported news.com.au.
But Mr Seidl rejected the suggestion he is a pessimist.
'As a filmmaker my goal is to depict things as honestly as possible," he said. "To deal with social systems, to show them as realistically as possible. Negative, positive, pessimistic, whatever — that's not really the point here.'
Headlines Newsview all
Ebola could hit 15 countries across Africa: Study of how disease has spread in past finds 70million people may be at risk of infection
The Ebola outbreak could hit 15 countries across Africa - putting the lives of 70 million people at risk, a groundbreaking study has found. In a ...
Britain is to forge closer economic ties with China after Chancellor George Osborne announced £2.4billion in new commercial deals with the People’s Republic. As the annual ...
Donations have poured in for Manchester Dogs’ Home after a fire ripped through the premises, killing more than 53 dogs last night. A JustGiving page set ...
Rate this article
MOST POPULAR ON CAPITALBAY
Devastated mother tells of anguish at watching teenager drown in lake tragedy not realising it was her own son
A devastated mother has spoken of her anguish at witnessing a teenager drown in a reservoir tragedy, not realising it was her own son. Melanie Goodship, ...
I've had no complaints about my kissing, says Miliband as he admits he FORGOT to mention the deficit in his conference speech
Ed Miliband today insisted said his wife has 'never complained' about his kissing technique after an awkward moment during his party conference speech. The Labour leader ...
Philip Hammond was speaking to CNN at United Nations summit in New York He said the hunt for ISIS executioner with a London accent was moving ...
Man pulled four-door sedan up to security gate without putting it into 'park' Rolled right through gate while man scrambled to catch up with his vehicle Onlookers ...
This wouldn't happen in CSI! Hilarious moment road sweeper ducks underneath police cordon and starts cleaning up a crime scene closed off for forensic investigators
Amused passerby photographs eager road sweeper cleaning crime scene The woman went under a police 'do not cross' cordon to collect the litter But watching police officers ...
This nurse and single mum could be deported to the Philippines because her 9 year old son has AUTISM and will 'be a burden on the health system'
Nurse and son set to be deported from Australia due to the child's autism Maria Sevilla and son Tyrone have lived in Australian since 2007 Their family ...
Rob Greenfield, 28, saw huge amounts of food thrown away on cycling tripDecided to survive by eating only from dumpsters for a monthIs touring the ...
Karen Michelle Williams was last seen in August 1990 Friends last saw her leaving a party in the remote opal mining town of Cooper Pedy in ...
I want some! Sneaky pet pooch watches owner eating watermelon... but looks away each time he's caught staring
Man pretends to eat his food while dog tries to grab a sneaky peek Just before man eats he glances at dog and dog hurriedly turns away Pomeranian ...
Jordanian court ruled there was insufficient evidence against Abu Qatada He was linked with plans to target Israeli and U.S tourists, and diplomats Earlier David Cameron insisted ...