ARABIAN NIGHTS: VOLUME 1, THE RESTLESS ONE (2015) by Miguel Gomes
“O auspicious King, it has reached me…”
“Arabian Nights: Volume 1. The Restless One” is the first part of a modern portuguese trilogy that tries to reflect the reality of the portuguese society through little stories.
In the first volumen of this unique adaptation of Arabian Nights, the director will introduce us to the social problems he wants us to think about.
To begin with, we’ll see two documentaries about jobs that’ve been disappearing little by little and the repercussion this is having in the people who’ve devoted their entire lifes to this taskes, as the people who worked in the dockyards or the ones that were in charge of burning bee’s honeycombs.
But the director of these documentaries is not satisfied with the result, he doesn’t think the public would get the message, so he runs off the filming and apologizes to his team for not being good enough to capture the problems he wants to speak about. So he would start to tell them the story of Sherezade, and in this point, the film will really start.
Sherezade is a beautiful woman that, in her determination for entertaining her husband and King, invent a different story to tell him each night. Those stories that mix up fantasy with reality, are satires which spoke about politics, love, hypocrisy and unemployment.
The trouble with this first volumen of “Arabian Nights” is that is too outlandish; so it looses interest in some moments. It takes too long to begin, and it’s difficult to guess what the film is talking about untill Sherezade tells the first story. And even then, in the second story, I can’t find the leitmotiv either.
Maybe it’s because to appreciate the value of this trilogy it’s necessary to see the three volumes. But, for the moment, this is not the kind of cinema that moves my social concern.