viva paradis

documentary, 17 minutes, HD, 2011
with the support of vlaams audiovisueel fonds

A week in the slow decline of a luxury hotel in Tunisia, a country undergoing transformation. The almost deserted hotel is surrounded not only by the ruins of Carthage, but the signs of the recent revolution are also plain to see. The fighting is over, but what now? From March 10-16, 2011, Belgian documentary filmmaker Isabelle Tollenaere recorded the peace following the transformation, using images of the tourism industry that speak volumes. In the enormous hotel, the few guests continue to enjoy this artificial paradise. A group of dancers in military costumes go through their repertoire in an empty nightclub. The chic patio and billiard room are deserted. Outside, the void left after the revolution is also omnipresent in the "new," independent Tunisia. On a damaged wall, we can read the words "Thank you Facebook." The banks have been burned to the ground. Everything seems to be motionless. The static tableaux of the becalmed hotel world and the storm that has died down outside need no dialogue or explanation - they speak for themselves. Banal entertainment and revolution seem to become one. (idfa)

director, camera: isabelle tollenaere
editing: isabelle tollenaere, tom denoyette
sound: kwinten van laethem
colour grading: joost bevernage

interview isabelle tollenaere for

'Sans rien revendiquer, mais grâce à sa distance individuelle, la vidéaste dévoile les contradictions liées à la façon dont ont devient, malgré soi, acteur de l’Histoire.'
Format Court