"...Marcelo Felix's thoughtful debut slowly unfolds its ambition as a sort of film essay or tone poem on memory and forgetting, alternatingly reminding the viewer of the works of directors as different as Werner Herzog, Sandro Aguilar, José Luis Guerín or Christoph Hochhäusler.
it's constructed very carefully as a sort of metaphysical mystery bent on seducing its viewers into going along with the questions it asks. It doesn't offer any proper answers of its own, and that didn't seem to be the original aim anyway; it is to the director's credit that the myriad source materials (period and archival footage, both real and false, as well as a number of purposefully-shot images), influences and concepts are seamlessly integrated into one hypnotic, comfortable whole, set at just the right length."
Jorge Mourinha - "The Films and how I see Them"
in The Flickering Wall, 31 October 2011
"This is one of those rare experimental films which soothe the mind and the senses instead of attacking and destroying them. And it tells us rather serious thoughts about keeping things as well as life and time.
From its initial titles the film raises parallels with the biblical Ark, onto which were taken each animal species and a few seeds from each plant, so that after the flood rubbed off the planet life could go on, not having to start from complete scratch or protoplasm.
Besides the parallels mentioned does this Ark create a paradise? At first it is a mere visual similarity, the branches of trees, leaf veins or mud puddles which remind of slowly degrading film material. Then the aesthetics of scratches and defects works more and more consistently - actually filmed and beautifully battered post-production footage is gradually mixed with the already archived, authentic materials."
Kamil Fila - "A civilization that loses control due to the need for compassion" in Aktualne.cz
“Eden’s Ark, which more specifically deals with silent-film preservation, is an essay film exploring a philosophical problem. ‘We are guilty of fighting for memory when life is about oblivion,’ the female narrator (Isabel Machado) says. If the way of nature travels towards death, is it unnatural to want to keep films alive? This question leads in turn to wondering whether films have lives of their own, as well as whether they have their own memories or simply memories we viewers assign them. Celluloid images of Joan of Arc in the trial box and Harold Lloyd on the clock face present themselves digitally, alternating with views of landscapes, whether mountains or arctic plains. Nature — inhuman, indubitably autonomous—contrasts with cinema. ‘The traveller may lack a memory of landscapes,’ we hear, ‘for they seem to contain all the world’s memory, his included.’ What’s gone will come back in some form through memory—even, perhaps, the thousands of silent films now thought to be forever lost. Flickering through Eden’s Ark is an imagined silent film, glimpsed in pieces, created just for the occasion. The voiceover says, ‘And while we use images to remember what there is, and keep the images we’ve created, maybe what’s left unsolved will come and join us.’”
Aaron Cutler, “Rotterdam 2012: The End and The Beginning”, in Slant Magazine, February 2012