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1,412 Ratings

Arabian Nights: Volume 1, the Restless One

As Mil e Uma Noites: Volume 1, O Inquieto

Directed by Miguel Gomes
Portugal, France, 2015
  • Portuguese
  • English


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.

Our take

Three volumes, three unidentified filmic objects of uncommon beauty, and three instant classics of contemporary cinema. Miguel Gomes’ outstanding masterpiece takes over. A vision of modern Portugal told with the inspiration of the timeless folk tales of Arabian Nights.

Arabian Nights: Volume 1, the Restless One Directed by Miguel Gomes
Gomes knows how to wrap an audience around his little finger—see Tabu for reference—but conscientiously keeps himself from slipping into a rhythm here, switching up time signatures in unexpected ways. These films are the work of a free man, and the exhilaration is infectious.
January 04, 2016
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Gomes knows all too well how cruel and chaotic modern life can be, but his film isn’t intended to solve the problems of the world. Arabian Nights prefers simply to follow them as they play out—and this perhaps is the greatest proof of its courage.
November 04, 2015
Split into three films, it’s an uproarious and scathing, compassionate and urgent outburst that runs more than six hours… Elaborate fantasies and raucous antics converge with Gomes’s view of an ostensible democracy whose citizens have lost control.
September 21, 2015
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