Plot Summary

  • Afanai (22) is unable to speak, for she has aphasia. She can hear and understand everything other people say but she herself cannot respond verbally and therefore she is silent. This handicap was due to a car accident six years ago. Ever since she felt rejected by society. People react to her as if she was dumb or arrogant. In response Afanai chooses to retreat into her home. She did not want to participate in society anymore. She only goes out of her shelter early in the morning when everyone is asleep and the world is still on pause. She enjoys having the city of Amsterdam all to herself but also feels more alone than ever. For the rest of the time she stays at home. She has made her home a true sanctuary. It is well decorated, every room has it's own atmosphere and meaning. She makes a living selling necklaces through the Internet. Her mailman Jan, who is kind enough to take her packages to the post office, becomes ill. The new mailman, Sem (26), of course knows nothing of their silent agreement. Afanai tries to ask him to help her. But because of communication problems this only creates a conflict between them. Afanai has to find a way out to deal with the deliverance problem of the packages to the post office. She tries hard but does not succeed in this. She hits rock bottom and realizes something has to change. She can only change herself, so she does. She confronts Sem but behaves differently. His reaction is very positive, so Afanai learns that maybe she should change and that society may then react better to her. As a result of her change in behavior Sem takes her packages. They have become intrigued by each other. They watch each other and Afanai opens up to him and to society. In the end Afanai goes to a dancing club with her sister. Here she feels comfortable since she is good in communicating without words. This strengthens her and she manages to let go even more. While she is dancing she opens her eyes and sees Sem standing in front of her.

    - Written by T. Löwenhardt


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