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Arthur's Paradise

Original titleLe Paradis d'Arthur
Original lang.French
Directed byLuc Beauchamp


Impressionistic and poetic, brutal and chaotic, hilarious and fantastic, Arthur's Paradise is anything but a conventional documentary. Every morning Arthur feeds the pigs and chickens on his farm to the hauntingly beautiful voice of opera singer Victoria Rossellini piped into the barn from an old 33 record. Superb cinematography captures the birth of a litter of piglets, Arthur's routine tail, genital and teeth clipping, a mating session of a sow in heat and the selecting of young pigs for the factory-all of the violent and caring acts in a farmer's day. Until, one morning, the record of Rossellini disappears, all hell breaks loose and the film morphs into a fantasy: the pigs go on a hunger strike, chickens cluck out catastrophic warnings and Arthur frantically tries to restore harmony by playing other music, resulting in opera singers, a disco celebrity, and an entire mariachi band chasing him around the barn. A brilliant music score and sound design replace dialogue and, while we may argue about genre, there can be no argument over its stunning originality

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