Golden Apricot/ Ulrich Seidl

The festival presented the Paradise-trilogy of Ulrich Seidl: Love, Hope and Faith. And the fine Golden Apricot Daily brought an interview with the director (online, see link below), from where I have taken the following:

Seidl told the Daily that his first idea was to make one film about the desires of three different women and show them in parallel stories. But he ended up with 90 hours of material, which could have been made into a 6 hour long film… ”but because the three stories felt so intense, I thought that making three films was the only right solution”.

”My films are documentary-like in style and atmosphere, with actors performing as authentic as possible. Yet, my images can be very artificial. Think about the scene in Love where the rich sugar mamas are in their beach chairs, while a rope separates them from the Kenyan beach boys on the other side. The idea of that image was totally mine…”

You ask a lot from your actors, the interviewer asks Seidl, you direct a lot of attention towards their bodies. Was it hard to cast them?

”Definitely. While casting the Teresa-part (the sugar mama in Love) I knew I wanted a professional actress. She had to be overweight and able to improvise in front of the camera. Finding an actress who’s able to improvise in front of the camera is difficult enough: You’re stuck with only twenty percent of the German-speaking actresses who can do that. Moreover she needed to perform in intimate scenes, exposing her body. Realising this actress has children, a husband, family; it was difficult to find the right one. After the casting I travelled with three actresses to Kenya to discover how they would respond to the shooting location. Only then I could know how they would feel wearing a bikini in the heat and how they would interact with the beach boys”.

Photo: Danish distributor: Øst for Paradis

Share your love
Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

Articles: 3839