Screened as part of NZIFF 2015

Arabian Nights – Volume 3: The Enchanted One 2015

As mil e uma noites – Volume 3, o encantado

Directed by Miguel Gomes

In three parts, with multiple stories, Portuguese director Miguel Gomes’ epic Arabian Nights was easily the most original, ambitious – and most critically acclaimed – film at Cannes this year.

France/Germany/Portugal/Switzerland In Portuguese with English subtitles
125 minutes CinemaScope/DCP
M (offensive language)

Director

Producers

Luis Urbano
,
Sandro Aguilar
,
Thomas Ordonneau
,
Jonas Dornbach
,
Janine Jackowski
,
Maren Ade
,
Elena Tatti
,
Thierry Spicher
,
Elodie Brunner

Screenplay

Miguel Gomes
,
Mariana Ricardo
,
Telmo Churro

Photography

Sayombhu Mukdeeprom
,
Lisa Persson
,
Mário Castanheira

Editors

Telmo Churro
,
Pedro Filipe Marques
,
Miguel Gomes

With

Crista Alfaiate
,
Américo Silva
,
Carloto Cotta
,
Jing Jing Guo
,
Chico Chapas
,
Quitério
,
Bernardo Alves

Festivals

Cannes (Directors’ Fortnight) 2015

Awards

Best Feature, Sydney Film Festival 2015

The most ambitious, most dazzlingly alive film at Cannes this year takes its name, storytelling impulse and wry embrace of the fantastic from the classic 1001 Nights – in order to tell ten stories of life in straitened, contemporary Portugal. Miguel Gomes, whose playful self-consciousness brought very particular life to his docu-drama Our Beloved Month of August and to the loaded historical romance of Tabu, sent out a team of journalists around Portugal to gather the real-life tales that feed this marvellous compendium of stories and styles.

“Gomes and his collaborators have invented an entirely new approach for looking at the real world through an optic that distorts it, defamiliarizes it, and restores to it a rich, poetic form of truth. Just as the film’s fantasy Arabia takes on the colors of the everyday, the concrete realities of contemporary Portuguese working-class life (whether it’s the struggles of firefighters, the subculture of chaffinch hunting and birdsong competitions, or the neighborhood arguments caused by the disruptive crowing of a pet cockerel), all this becomes as fabulous and entrancing as any tale of princes and genies.

But there are genies here too, and exploding whales, and politicians with erectile issues. It’s all in the nature of a good story, and Gomes’s stories, even if we only get six hours’ worth, could go on forever.” — Jonathan Romney, Film Comment