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Arabian Nights: Volume 1, The Restless One(As Mil e Uma Noites: Volume 1, O Inquieto)

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Portugal, France, Germany · 2015
2h 5m
Director Miguel Gomes
Starring Crista Alfaiate, Miguel Gomes, Carloto Cotta, Adriano Luz
Genre Drama

In danger of being beheaded, Scheherazade tells King Shahryar unfinished tales to continue them the following night. Instead of recounting the stories from the film’s namesake, Scheherazade tells stories based on current events in Portugal. These stories are tragic and comical, filled with surprising and extraordinary events that show the reality of a country in economic crisis.

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What are people saying?

What are critics saying?


The New York Times by A.O. Scott

Mr. Gomes has a tendency to revel in his own cleverness and to indulge in self-conscious cinematic jokes. He also has a penchant for obscurantism, a habit of confusing ambiguity with depth.


Village Voice by Calum Marsh

However you enjoy its nearly four hundred minutes, I expect you'll be held rapt till the last second by a film of abundant wit and generous heart.


Slant Magazine by Chuck Bowen

Miguel Gomes's formal talents, which include a flair for close-ups of elegantly smooth or weathered faces, transcend his soft spot for the didactic.


Total Film by Jamie Graham

One of the princes of arthouse cinema, Miguel Gomes here uses his status to push form and stretch boundaries. Very long but very much worth it.


The Globe and Mail (Toronto) by Kate Taylor

Labelling his film as a response to the impoverishment of ordinary people caused by the government-imposed austerity of 2013-14, Gomes explains his dilemma brilliantly at the start of Volume 1. How is a well-meaning filmmaker to effectively render the pain of the Portuguese with a documentary set in a town where the shipyard has closed just as alien wasps are attacking local beehives?


The New Yorker by Richard Brody

With a blend of local lore and partisan fury, theatrical artifice and journalistic inquiry, Gomes single-handedly reinvents the political cinema.

75 by Scout Tafoya

Part one of "Arabian Nights" has many wild components and even though they adhere to their own set of aesthetic principals, they make for a strange two-hour movie (which is why it’s best to watch it with parts two and three).

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