Paradise Later

Paradise Later


Reviewed by: Andrew Robertson

A boat wends its way upriver, through ruined villages, litter, ever litter, piled and washed upon the banks. We are heading to a city, though we do not know it, "going upriver", the screen moving from black to slowly swimming shot and back. Fishermen by the water, "conquest of the earth", music by Sven Tllner, Tony Dunham's readings. Indonesia, not Africa, not Vietnam, but the same text, extracts from Conrad. The music, the flicker of imagery, on and on it flows.

It's visually striking, haunting, compelling, classed as a 'video essay' because, well, who keeps track? It lacks some of the power of Apocalypse Now, to which it owes a debt as great as it does to that first Heart Of Darkness. Ascan Breuer's film is nonetheless impressive, beautifully synthesising documentary footage and the cornerstone of Congolese colonial comparisons. Bound up in it is commerce, industrialisation, callous disregard for man, environment, and on.

At some 13 minutes it lacks the awe-inspiring weight of Apocalypse Now Redux, but is no less strong for coasting on excerpts, snippets, representative samples. Sometimes the sense of a thing is enough, and Paradise Later delivers ably. Talk of boards and society members fits now, and what it has to say about what has changed and has not changed is worthwhile, if bleak.

Reviewed on: 11 Oct 2010
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Shots of pollution in an Indonesian river are accompanied by the sounds of a travelling salesman reporting to his board.
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Director: Ascan Breuer

Writer: Ascan Breuer

Starring: Tony Dunham

Year: 2010

Runtime: 13 minutes

Country: Austria, Germany


EIFF 2010

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