Paradise : Faith is Ulrich Seidl’s second movie from the trilogy Paradise, together with Love and Hope. For this part of the trilogy it seems like the Paradise is, as expected, Jesus himself.
Anna Maria is a 50-year old X-ray technician who spends her summer holiday going to people’s houses with a Saint Mary statue and tries to make them believe in God and be catholic. Anna Maria also belongs to this sort of sect whose motto is to make Austria an entirely catholic country.
Her faith in Jesus is actually more than faith..it’s obsession, sick passion, that keeps her from seeing the reality in life and that makes her get to the edge of absurd. The idea that those who have true faith should be good by nature, is actually misunderstood by Anna Maria who, when her Muslim handicapped husband comes back home, treats him with no care and no attention. She actually torments and harasses him.
Ulrich Seidl managed to produce this film in a very neutral way, although it touches a very sensitive subject. You couldn’t say if the director really likes Anna or he considers her an obsessed and crazy woman.
Paradise : Faith won the prize for best movie in the competition and the jury prize at the Venice Film Festival in 2012.