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“You’ll wince, laugh and be shocked, sometimes all at once.” — Adam Woodward, Little White Lies

Director: Ulrich Seidl
Year: 2012
Running time: 113 mins
Censor Rating: R18 - violence, sex scenes, content may disturb
Genres: Religion

Producer: Ulrich Seidl
Screenplay: Ulrich Seidl, Veronika Franz
Photography: Wolfgang Thaler, Ed Lachman
Editor: Christof Schertenleib
Production designers: Renate Martin, Andreas Donhauser
Costume designer: Tanja Hausner
Sound: Ekkehart Baumung
In German and Arabic, with English subtitles

With: Maria Hofstätter (Anna Maria), Nabil Saleh (Nabil), Natalija Baranova (Natalija), René Rupnik (Mr Rupnik), Dieter Masur and Trude Masur (married couple)

Festivals: Venice 2012; Rotterdam 2013
Special Jury Prize, Venice Film Festival 2012

For Anna Maria, an X-ray technician (and sister of PARADISE: Love’s Teresa), a holiday provides the opportunity to head out for a spot of door-to-door evangelism, toting her two-foot plaster Mary into the homes of anyone foolish, confused or lonely enough to let her across the threshold. But at heart Anna Maria’s devotion is a frantically private affair, self-administered in bouts of flagellation or progressions around her obsessively spotless apartment on her knees. When Anna Maria’s estranged, wheelchair-bound and devoutly Muslim husband appears from who-knows-where, God may have sent a trial too many. Seidl’s lampoon of hysterical faith seems perfectly designed to enrage the embattled righteous, but in more charitable souls it may induce pity and wonder. “I laughed uproariously throughout this horrifying portrait of a religious fanatic, and if there’s something the matter with you, you will, too.”  — John Waters, Artforum (Best Films of 2012)

The PARADISE Trilogy also includes PARADISE Love and PARADISE Hope.