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"Hugely entertaining and quite magical … a film of huge ambition, intense political commitment and a love of humanity, and of storytelling." – Screen International

In Portugal, over 600 shipyard workers are being laid off. An apiarist fights off an invasion of foreign bees. An African wizard creates an aerosol spray that cures impotence in world leaders and IMF financiers. A judge puts a cockerel on trial for crowing too early.

The first part of this sweeping trilogy from writer/director Miguel Gomes (Redemption, MIFF 2014; Tabu, MIFF 2012) takes the classic fable about Scheherazade and uses it as a basis for a fantastical and whimsical examination of contemporary Portugal. Working with a team of journalists tasked to gather real-life stories from around the austerity-ravaged nation, Gomes and his crew (including Apichatpong Weerasethakul's regular cinematographer Sayombhu Mukdeeprom, shooting on 16mm and 35mm) then wove those tales into a poetic, pleading and often wry modern-day fable.

"An immense work of exhilarating freedom, it attempts just about every storytelling device and narrative mode imaginable, veering from political satire to Brechtian theater to tear-jerking melodrama, always conscious that its fantasy dimension is a license for directness, a path to a more meaningful truth." – Artforum

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