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There were many adaptations of Arabian Nights, but none of them were as innovative and imaginative as Miguel Gomes’s one. What the skilled filmmaker does is adapts certain chapters of Arabian Nights into modern Portugal with its chaos and problems. The screenplay and lines are written so wisely that you can relate any of those details to political or social condition you wish. It’s all about using your imagination. And guess what, once you do that, the picture will start dancing the way it happened in Arabian Nights: Volume 1 – The Restless One.

Portugal is one of the European countries suffering due to the European crisis. Hundreds of peoples are left without jobs, some have even lost their lives, and filmmaker proposes to build fictional stories where one man, in order to save himself from being killed, begs for a chance to tell an awe-inspiring story that might revoke the sentence. What Gomez does next is utterly magnificent, hilarious and wise. He builds the story around Portugal’s financial and social crisis with sarcasm.

The stories, characters and places that Scheherazade tells you takes a fictional form from the quite sad facts and events which occurred in Portugal between August 2013 and July 2014. Due to an economic program executed by government, Portuguese people were held hostage and had to lose their jobs or resign and start working as contractors. The scene where one woman discuss the reason why she did not want to kill cockerel, and rather let him die a natural death is sad but hilarious. Because the cockerel appears here as a metaphor which you can translate into anything you want, that may apply to real human situation.

In conclusion, Arabian Nights: Volume 1 – The Restless One is the only the first part of the trilogy that can been seen during the Toronto International Film Festival. If you like reading between the lines and analyze dialogues and extract the true meaning of it, then Gomes’s Arabian Nights Trilogy is the right film for you to catch during the festival.

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