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Arabian Nights Volume 2: The Desolate One

Arabian Nights Volume 2: The Desolate One
  • 2015
  • Portgual
  • 131 min
  • Directed by: Miguel Gomes
  • Cast: Crista Alfaiate, Chico Chapas, Luísa Cruz
  • Language: Portuguese
  • UK release: 29 April 2016

In the second part of Gomes' sprawling, wildly inventive trilogy, mass murderer Simão (Chapas) becomes a folk hero and a magistrate (Cruz) presides over a succession of absurdist cases.

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Performance times

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Our second Mini Season of World Cinema continues with Arabian Nights Volume 2 - The Desolate One.

No familiarity with the original Arabian Nights tales – or with Volume 1 of director Gomes’s (Tabu) trilogy – is required to appreciate the darkly comic stories that comprise The Desolate One.

Crista Alfaiate again narrates as Scheherazade, but the vignettes here are even more absurdist than in Volume 1. We visit a courtroom where the judiciary and the people it represents are clearly at odds, and a case involving the theft of 13 cows unravels to include a similar number of mail-order brides.

This furious comment on Portugal’s legal system precedes an equally acerbic allegory about the decline of social cohesion as seen through the eyes of an unloved poodle seeking shelter on a rundown housing estate. Unremittingly enraged, and brilliantly entertaining.

"The cinematic language in which Gomes is working is immersive rather than strictly narrative. And as such, the occasional lapse of concentration hardly matters." ★★★★ The Observer

Director: Miguel Gomes.

Starring: Crista Alfaiate.

Portugal/France/Germany/Switzerland 2015.

Run time:132 mins.

Portuguese with English subtitles.

Arabian Nights Volume 3 - The Enchanted One: Wednesday 14th September 7:30pm

***"This project is supported by Film Hub North West Central, proud to be a member of the BFI Film Audience Network" ★★★

Text supplied by third party.

Reviews & features

Arabian Nights

18 Apr 20164 stars

Giddy, shape-shifting and eccentric three-parter from Portuguese director Miguel Gomes

How does any European filmmaker confront the age of austerity? In righteous fury, bitter despair, or weary melancholy? Tabu director Miguel Gomes tries to address the impact on Portugal with a little of everything in his sprawling, wildly inventive…

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