Short Film Profile

Hotel Paraíso

A recently-married couple take a journey into a paradoxical universe where the seduction of a beautiful coastal scene of coconut trees, golden sand and glistening blue sea contrasts abruptly with the eponymous Hotel Paraíso, a condemned wreck of a building, in complete and utter decay. The honeymooners are greeted by the charming, immaculately-attired hotel manager as he stands in front of the ruins. And yet an air of normality prevails – the honeymoon suite is in total disarray but the bed is made and there are mints on the pillows. The couple act as if nothing is wrong. The wife brushes her hair while the husband brushes his teeth – the fact that no water flows from the tap is simply shrugged off. Mealtimes possess a semblance of order, yet this is immediately juxtaposed by what is served – a single banana for breakfast, a putrid lobster for lunch. On the beach, the couple frolic in the shallows, but the atmosphere changes suddenly as a human corpse floats by. The couple pay no attention. Similarly, when a bell tolls ominously, they regard it as simply a sign that lunch is ready. As guests, the couple are initially treated well, yet when they question the manager, he bristles as if to suggest that they are not adhering to some unwritten and unspoken rule. The couple become subsumed in a sinister game in which they are little more than pawns in a chess game, participants in a wider drama beyond their control. Dialogue is sparse, since arguably what is left unsaid carries more resonance. The understated responses of the Manager conceal more than mere irritation – and the wife’s subtle shake of her head when she realizes her husband is about to say something, confirms that the mood has irretrievably shifted toward the dark side.

Film notes

The film can be seen as a reflection on how we, as a society, accept the grand illusion; we blindly follow conventions, failing to question what should seem apparent, until it’s too late. Hotel Paraíso sets out to entice and to provoke.




Copyright © 2016 Mangaba Produções

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Previous screenings

Panorama Internacional Coisa de Cinema | 2016
9 Nov – 16 Nov | Salvador, Brazil
South West London International Film Festival | 2016
26 Nov | London, United Kingdom
2 Dec – 4 Dec | Ottawa, Canada
8 Jun – 16 Jun | New York City, United States
23 Jun – 25 Jun | Cardiff, United Kingdom

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Information on this profile is provided by the film owners and/or compiled from available sources | Profile updated 30 Nov 2017