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Top 100 Most Anticipated Films of 2013: #17. Ulrich Seidl’s Paradise: Hope

Paradise: Hope

Director: Ulrich Seidl
Writer(s): Seidl & Veronika Franz
Producers: Seidl, Christine Ruppert, Philippe Bober
U.S. Distributor: Strand Releasing
Cast: Melanie Lenz, Verena Lehbauer, Joseph Lorenz, Michael Thomas, Vivian Bartsch

We’re waiting for a full retrospective on the director – we’ve only seen a small sampling of his work with Dog Days and Import/Export but we get a true sense of Ulrich Seidl’s works as a docu filmmaker. Our Nicholas Bell was thoroughly impressed (review) by Paradise: Faith, while I found Paradise: Love (the first part of the trilogy) suffered from its lengthy run-time but it was certainly candid and unforgettable sampling of ugly tourism.

Gist: Hope, the third film in the PARADISE TRILOGY, tells the story of the 13-year-old Melanie. While her mother (Teresa) travels to Kenya, Melanie spends her holiday in the Austrian countryside at a strict diet camp for overweight teenagers. Under the supervision of a tattooed trainer and a creepy doctor, the teenagers attempt to do sports during the day and secretly get drunk in the evening. Between physical education and nutrition counseling, pillow fights and her first cigarette, Melanie falls in love with the doctor who is 40 years her senior.

Release Date: After installments I (Cannes ’12) and II (Venice ’12), this will land at the Berlin Film Festival. Strand Releasing will distribute hopefully locking theaters into showing all three in secession.

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at IONCINEMA.com, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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