Our Paradise
Notre Paradis

DIRECTOR: Gaël Morel

“When you’re over 30, you’re through,” says aging hustler Vassili (Wild Reeds’ Stéphane Rideau) to his younger lover Angelo soon after they meet. The very hunky, if over-the-hill, rent boy encounters the youth bleeding in Paris’s Bois du Boulogne on a cold winter evening. They embark on a passionate affair, marred only by the financial necessity of various client encounters and Vassili’s increasingly alarming and violent behavior toward these benefactors.

As johns become insulting and perverse with Vassili, his responses veer further out of control. Taught only to believe in his body as a commodity, he becomes brutal and goes on a murderous rampage when he perceives himself as no longer valued. In the latter half of the film, things take an intriguing turn as Angelo and Vassili skip town and meet up with Vassili’s long-time friend Anna (Betty Blue’s Béatrice Dalle) and her young son. Seeing the potential for a newfound reconfiguration of family, Vassili seeks out a place where the four outcasts might live together and be happy—but several obstacles remain in the way. Our Paradise is explicit and raw, sometimes sexy and frequently disturbing. Exploring the perils of aging and the danger of tying one’s self-worth to one’s attractiveness to others, it provokes and titillates as few other films have managed.

— ROD ARMSTRONG

In French with English subtitles.

This film contains graphic violence.

AT&T Audience Award Text Voting Code: F138

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