Online catalogue / Ascan Breuer :

Paradise Later
Paradise Later
AT / DE / ID / 2010
13 min.

Blinking. As if eyes had to adjust to the light, the images appear in the glaring white and then disappea – withdrawing from our curious, greedy gaze. While a traveling salesman reports to his company´s managing board off camera and the man´s doubts and complaints become more obvious, the camera follows the course of a lazy river on the edge of a large tropical city. "The conquest of the earth is not a pretty thing when you look into it too much." The riverbanks are covered with piles of garbage where goats graze, trash hangs from the trees like tinsel, and fast-food wrappers float on the water´s surface. Fishermen cast out their nets like clockwork in the hope of catching something they can eat or use, and children play in the muddy water in front of rundown shacks. The atmosphere, made unreal by the soundtrack, is occasionally punctuated, as if the surroundings´ "real" sounds and voices were trying to hold their own against the omnipotent voice.

Of all the world´s emerging markets, Indonesia, with a population in the millions, represents the best opportunity for unbridled international capitalism. In the global competition for new factory locations and markets, colonialistic corporations are ignoring social and ecological standards. The outer and intermediate zones of exploding, Moloch-like megacities are home to more and more people living in profound poverty, who subsist on the refuse of an expanding consumer society. The documentary images captured by cameraman Victor Jaschke are not consistent with the familiar advertisements featuring palm-lined beaches. The text used for the narration is a distillation of Josef Conrad´s 1899 Heart of Darkness, which Breuer transposes from late 19th century Belgian Congo to 21st century Indonesia. Conrad´s novel is relevant, both as political commentary and also because of its monolithically logocentric air, which seems to arrogantly place itself above the images of poverty and suffering.
Paradise Later develops a disturbing draw that, through the juxtaposition of the literary text and the unhurried, deliberate images of misery, produces an unconventional and ambivalent critique of globalization: Apocalypse now – paradise later!

(Gerald Weber)

Paradise Later is a "documentary adaption of a novel". Inside the head of a trader we travel on a river meandering through an apocalyptic scenery. A stream of thoughts carries us away into a vortex of accusation, damnation and self-condemnation. We take a short exit – into a reality. The gaze widens for a moment. But our captain frantically navigates us towards a fatal ending.

(production note)

We grab what we can get for the sake of what is to be got. It is just robbery with violence, aggravated murder on a great scale, and we going at it blind, as is very proper for those who tackle a darkness - reckless without hardihood, greedy without audacity, and cruel without courage.

(film quotation)

A film by:
- Ascan Breuer

- Essay

original language:
- german/english

Available Prints:
- 35 mm
- Digital Betacam PAL
- Betacam SP PAL

price: 52 EUR


rental conditions

more on Austrian Independent Film & Video Database:
- Credits
- Festival placements
- Texte und Bilder
- Biographie: Ascan Breuer

Film/Video Online:
Only for private use