8.0/10
1,646
11 user 27 critic

Land of Silence and Darkness (1971)

Land des Schweigens und der Dunkelheit (original title)
Not Rated | | Documentary | 22 October 2002 (Hong Kong)
Through examining Fini Straubinger, an old woman who has been deaf and blind since adolescence, and her work on behalf of other deaf and blind people, this film shows how the deaf and blind... See full summary »

Director:

Writer:

Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

1 win. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Fata Morgana (1971)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Footage shot in and around the Sahara Desert, accompanied only by a spoken creation myth and the songs of Leonard Cohen.

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Lotte Eisner, Eugen Des Montagnes, James William Gledhill
Documentary | Biography | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A study of the psychology of a champion ski-jumper, whose full-time occupation is carpentry.

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Walter Steiner, Werner Herzog
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Herzog examines the world championships for cattle auctioneers, his fascination with a language created by an economic system, and compares it to the lifestyle of the Amish, who live nearby.

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Steve Liptay, Scott McKain, Ralph Wade
Signs of Life (1968)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A wounded German paratrooper named Stroszek is sent to the quiet island of Kos with his wife Nora, a Greek nurse, and two other soldiers recovering from minor wounds. Billeted in a decaying... See full summary »

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Peter Brogle, Wolfgang Reichmann, Athina Zacharopoulou
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The foreman of a small village glassworks dies without revealing the secret to the famous "Ruby Glass".

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Josef Bierbichler, Stefan Güttler, Clemens Scheitz
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The inhabitants of an institution in a remote country rebel against their keepers. Their acts of rebellion are by turns humorous, boring and alarming. An allegory on the problematic nature ... See full summary »

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Helmut Döring, Paul Glauer, Gisela Hertwig
Short | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

The film features several horse trainers and other track workers talking about their roles at the track, always eventually interrupted by an older man who claims to be the true authority, ... See full summary »

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Petar Radenkovic, Mario Adorf, Hans Tiedemann
Documentary | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

This film shows the disaster of the Kuwaitian oil fields in flames, with few interviews and no explanatory narration. Hell itself is presented in such beautiful sights and music that one has to be fascinated by it.

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Werner Herzog
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Herzog's film is based upon the true and mysterious story of Kaspar Hauser, a young man who suddenly appeared in Nuremberg in 1828, barely able to speak or walk, and bearing a strange note.

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Bruno S., Walter Ladengast, Brigitte Mira
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Four guys break into an old castle and find uniforms and military equipment. They then prepare to defend it from an imaginary enemy.

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Peter Brumm, Georg Eska, Karl-Heinz Steffel
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Film about the doctors that fly all over central Africa to bring medical help to the people living in the bush.

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Wilfried Klaus, Michael Woods
Handicapped Future (TV Movie 1971)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Illuminating look at the way physically disabled people were dealt with in West Germany in the late 60's / early 70's.

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Rolf Illig, Adolf Ratzka, Werner Herzog
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Fini Straubinger ...
Herself
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
M. Baaske
Elsa Fehrer ...
Herself
Heinrich Fleischmann
Rolf Illig ...
Narrator (voice)
Vladimir Kokol
Resi Mittermeier ...
Herself
Edit

Storyline

Through examining Fini Straubinger, an old woman who has been deaf and blind since adolescence, and her work on behalf of other deaf and blind people, this film shows how the deaf and blind struggle to understand and accept a world from which they are almost wholly isolated. Written by Erik Gregersen <erik@astro.as.utexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

deaf | blind | monkey | elephant | shower | See All (10) »

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 October 2002 (Hong Kong)  »

Also Known As:

Land of Silence and Darkness  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
a very sad but rewarding experience about those who can feel but can't see or hear
11 November 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Land of Silence and Darkness was Werner Herzog's first documentary. He still had a little bit of ways to go in terms of his style in a straightforward mode; the same year he made an experimental abstract documentary called Fata Morgana that showed him already a master of "directing landscapes" and getting a mood and setting that was unique. With LOS&D it's a little different- it's a little like the German equivalent of one of those touching documentaries that are on HBO every now and then. He's mostly there not to make any grand visual statements or ubiquitous metaphors, but to capture this insulated world where people survive against all obstacles. It's in the Herzog vein of thought and execution, of showing painfully human beings who've been unfortunately by no fault of their own into a fringe group where the act of communication has to be an obstacle itself, that the film is most powerful. Fini Straubinger is one of those gentle, courageous souls that deserves to be shown more in film, and Herzog has her pegged as a good subject- someone who communicates to those who have none (dead-blind boys from birth who barely know how to swallow let alone learn the alphabet or 'good' or 'bad') all through hand-pointing.

While Herzog lays on the orchestral strings over scenes that could be silent themselves, the people speak volumes about how the spirit of humanity and the goodness of human beings can live on in the right circumstances. There's a subtext that Herzog reaches at well of the neglect the people have been served, of some people like the woman who used to use braille but forgot and are put wrongfully in sanitariums, when they could be in the right care functional up to a point in society. So there is that part that is a running theme in most of Herzog's work that's striking, the society at large with the stragglers, those that are just trying to keep up. And out of this he makes at least a few moments, without much interference, into little moments of documentary poetry, like the boy who is ambivalent but finally does go around in the pool and feels ecstatic about being under a shower. Or the simple composition of the young man who can barely eat a banana, but merely the slightest bit of work from Fini gets him reacting.

Wedging on the line between unsentimental and sentimental is a hard thing to do with a group like this, and on a first feature-length documentary Herzog tries and for the most part makes it a brave turn on a subject neglected and bright and moving. It makes sense he would say that this is the one film he's made in decades that he wants to be available most; ironically it is overshadowed by the more astounding (if more crowd-pleasing) work with Grizzly Man and Little Dieter. Even if it isn't a great film, it is a must-see, which is rare in documentary film.


10 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
one of herzog's best documentaries teejay6682
Discuss Land of Silence and Darkness (1971) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?