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“The single most romantic thing I've seen in forever!"
--Guy Lodge, In Contention

We’re lucky if a single Tabu arrives each year: a film that knows cinema inside out, and uses it to work pure magic. If you can resist the last hour of this ravishing saga of amour fou, you may need a thorough health check. It’s the absolute quintessence of movie romance. Portuguese critic-turned-auteur Miguel Gomes borrows a title from FW Murnau’s 1931 love story on the South Seas, and flips its two parts: ‘Paradise Lost’ comes first here, and what a strange, lonely state it is. In contemporary Lisbon, a kindly and devout woman called Pilar (Teresa Madruga) tries to help her neighbour Aurora (Laura Soveral), an elderly gambling addict who’s slipping into dementia. The story of Aurora’s past is eventually disclosed to us by her long-lost love, in a voiceover so gorgeously written you may actually die. This is ‘Paradise’. We’re taken to the savannahs of an unnamed African colony 50 years before, at the foot of a fictional mountain called Tabu, where the married Aurora (Ana Moreira) – a famous game-hunter in her day – was swept off her feet by a handsome dandy called Ventura (Carloto Cotta). Their affair is delirious, dangerous – yet coolly observed. There’s something timeless about it. The cover versions of 1960s pop songs, most strikingly The Ronettes’ ‘Be My Baby’, induce a faraway rapture. A baby crocodile becomes the lovers’ mascot. Words are sung, but not one is spoken – often, we hear only the chirrups of insects. When it ends, the movie leaves you with a perfect ache. If it isn’t the year’s best, I can’t wait to see what that might be. – Tim Robey, The Daily TelegraphOfficial Trailer
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Directed by: 
Miguel Gomes
Running Time: 
Portugeuse with English Subtitles
Teresa Madruga, Laura Soveral, Ana Moreira, Carloto Cotta
Screenplay by: 
Miguel Gomes, Mariana Ricardo

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