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The Silence (2010)

Das letzte Schweigen (original title)
Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Thriller | 19 August 2010 (Germany)
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13-year-old Sinikka vanishes on a hot summer night. Her bicycle is found in the exact place where a girl was killed 23 years ago. The dramatic present forces those involved in the original case to face their past.

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(screenplay), (novel)
1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Peer Sommer
Wotan Wilke Möhring ...
Timo Friedrich
...
Elena Lange (as Katrin Sass)
...
David Jahn
...
Krischan Mittich
Karoline Eichhorn ...
Ruth Weghamm
Roeland Wiesnekker ...
Karl Weghamm
Jule Böwe ...
Jana Gläser
Oliver Stokowski ...
Matthias Grimmer
...
Julia Friedrich
Amon Robert Wendel ...
Malte
Kara McSorley ...
Laura
Anna Lena Klenke ...
Sinikka (as Anna-Lena Klenke)
Helene Luise Doppler ...
Pia (as Helene Doppler)
Eric Bouwer ...
Azubi Polizei
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Storyline

13-year-old Sinikka vanishes on a hot summer night. Her bicycle is found in the exact place where a girl was killed 23 years ago. The dramatic present forces those involved in the original case to face their past.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 August 2010 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Il était une fois un meurtre  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

€2,300,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$7,992 (USA) (8 March 2013)

Gross:

$99,654 (USA) (4 October 2013)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Baran bo Odar has said that South Korean movie _Salinui chueok (2003)_ was a big inspiration for this movie. See more »

Soundtracks

Farewell
written & produced by Michael Kamm, Kris Steininger (as Pas de Deux)
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User Reviews

Where past sins always come back to haunt.
13 November 2011 | by (Brisbane, Australia) – See all my reviews

Most murders are committed by people who know their victim, a fact that is standard fare in most whodunits. Rarely are murders committed at random, although the recent horrific thriller Funny Games (1997, remade 2007) presents the worst possible scenario.

But random murders do occur in real life: all over the world, people disappear and forever remain 'dead' with family and friends who are forever in limbo, unable to achieve closure. Only sometimes are the perpetrators caught.

With that thematic background, The Silence presents just that scenario with the rape and murder of a young female teen that remains on the books of the local police for 23 years – until it happens again to another teen, on the same day of the year, at the same place, and with the same modus operandi.

Unlike other serial killer movies – for example, The Silence of the Lambs (1991) – we know the identity of the killer from the get-go. Moreover, we also immediately know there are two perpetrators, although one of them is obviously reluctant to participate, even passively as he watches. As the two criminals, Ulrich Thomsen (as Peer Sommer) and Woltan Mohring (as Timo Friedrich) give strong and believable performances that center upon their individual but similar proclivities for depravity: brave actors both to take on such abhorrent roles.

But why a gap of 23 years? Well, that's where the story really starts, after we see the first murder in the first five minutes. And when the second murder occurs, so also occurs the retirement party for the local police detective (Krischan Mittich played by Burghart Klaussner) who failed to solve the first; so also the return to duty of an eccentric, grieving, widowed officer (David Jahn played by Sebastian Blomberg) who is obviously still distraught by the loss of his wife (to cancer) and who engages in bizarre activity; and so also the emotional awakening of the mother of the first murdered teen (Elena Lange played by Katrin Sass), who has been locked in unrelenting grief for over twenty years.

And in that mix there is repressed and introverted Timo – now a successful architect, beautiful home, lovely wife, two munchkins, the works – who, when he reads about the second murder, knows immediately who it is and decides something must be done… But, what?

As the police investigate, and as the clues are revealed, the net – so to speak – tightens without the two miscreants knowing. But, as viewers, we know it all, and gradually we move to the edge of our seat as we see how the wrong decisions are made, how the wrong inferences are drawn, how actions by one can be misconstrued by another all too easily, and ultimately how facts can be ignored or discarded for political expediency or professional jealousy and for the need to close a case, once and for all.

Arguably, suspenseful story doesn't get much better than this; although some viewers might argue about narrative holes and coincidence. However, because it's so believable it's so much better, especially the ending which I'm sure many – maybe most – viewers will not see coming, including me. Only in the last thirty seconds, perhaps… when the full irony hits you between the eyes.

The setting is semi-rural, ordinary and faultless; the production is well paced, even at two hours; the dramatic acting – there is absolutely no comic relief – is flawless; and the direction is so good, well, a glance or look truly is more effective than a thousand words. The background music is appropriate but, at times, borders on clichéd, I think. However, this is a movie I'll watch again – not only for the story but also for the narrative structure that combines so many different threads of lives shattered by indifference, inaction, inadequacy or inconsolable sadness.

Highly recommended.

November 2011.


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