Arabian Nights: Volume 3 - The Enchanted One

Arabian Nights: Volume 3 - The Enchanted One

Miguel Gomes (2015)

125min
15 Certificate
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Review

Our Score
Rules don't mean much to Portuguese auteur Miguel Gomes and he concludes his masterly triptych by confounding expectations that loose ends will be conveniently tied and that viewers will be sent away after 382 minutes with a trenchant and insightful message ringing in their ears. Reaching the end of her storytelling ordeal, Scheherazade (Crista Alfaiate) ignores the worries of her Grand Vizier father (Américo Silva) to venture into old Baghdad, where she meets an adoring diver (Lionel Franc), a thieving dancer (Elvis Barrientos) and a fertile fellow named Paddleman (Carloto Cotta), before she returns to the palace to relate "The Inebriating Chorus of the Chaffinches". Rather than provide a distraction from recessional reality, this 80-minute vignette has a documentary feel, as working-class Lisboans catch and train songbirds for prestigious competitions in a tradition that came to Portugal from Belgium after the First World War. Gomes further blurs the line between fact and fiction by slotting in a final fable, "Hot Forest", about the relationship between a bird fancier and a Chinese student (Jing Jing Guo). As the film ends, veteran bird trapper Chico Chapas frees a wind genie who has become entangled in a net. But Gomes knows such easy escapes only happen in fairy tales and that the chasm will continue to exist between the exotic and the everyday.

Cast & Crew

Scheherazade / Countess Beatriz Hesler Crista Alfaiate
Grand Vizier Américo Silva
King Shahryar Amar Bounachado
Lionel Franc Lionel Franc
Paddleman Carloto Cotta
Lin Nuam Jing Jing Guo
Chico Chapas, trapper Chico Chapas
Chaffinch fancier Gonçalo Waddington
Ladrão Elvis Barrientos
Director Miguel Gomes
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Other Information

Language: Portuguese, English, French, German, Mandarin +subtitlesColourTheatrical distributor: New Wave FilmsGuidance: Swearing, sexual references, nudity.Released on: 6 May 2016