Two estranged sisters, Ester and Anna, and Anna's 10-year-old son travel to the Central European country on the verge of war. Ester becomes seriously ill and the three of them move into a hotel in a small town called Timoka.
"The Silence" is about the emotional distance between two sisters. The younger one is still attractive enough to pick up a lover in a strange city. The older one -- even though she is very ill -- would like to make a human connection also but cannot leave the hotel room. Traveling with the sisters is a small boy who escapes into the hotel, meets a troupe of dwarfs. Which sister is this little boy's mother?Written by
Dale O'Connor <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The language in the movie is Gun Grut Bergman's creation. She was a translator and linguist in Slavic languages. The name of the city, which is indicated first in the train's speaker, and then by Anna, as Timoka, is a real word however. Bergman found it in a book in Estonian on the bookshelf of his wife Käbi Laretei. When he asked what it meant, she replied "belonging to the hangman". See more »
[points to a sign]
What does that mean?
I don't know.
See more »
A brief shot of Anna's naked torso, just prior to her having sex with the café waiter, has been excised from the U.S. version. Also, a subsequent scene in which the waiter is seen sodomizing Anna is cut at the beginning of the sex act. In the original version this sequence continues for another twenty seconds. See more »
Ester, Anna and her little son, Johan. They arrive in a strange city in a strange country. The two sisters have a long-standing love-hate relationship covered by the veneer of a fragile truce. Johan (Jörgen Lindstrom) tries to hold on to his mother Anna (Gunnel Lindblom) but she's too busy with her own desires and resentments to pay him much attention. Ester (Ingrid Thulin), Anna's older sister, is very sick - she represents for Anna an authority figure (once feared and respected).
Ester, Anna and Johan are in a city whose language they don't understand and no one understands their language. Isolation, silence.
There's something surreal, almost buñuelesque, in "The Silence". Johan sees and feels many things, but he can't really understand them. The train is arriving in the city and Johan stares out of the train window - he sees many war tanks heading somewhere. He doesn't know what to do with himself... he wanders through the corridors of the hotel in which they are staying and he meets midgets from a wandering troupe. The relationship between the two sisters, Anna (his mother) and Ester (once so strong and now so very sick) is growing tenser. Johan tries to understand, walks along the hotel corridors, plays... he tries to lean on someone.
We see through the eyes of Johan (chaos and the search for love) and Anna (rebellion, desire, the search for something/someone) and Ester (fear and hope succeeding each other).
Ester, Anna and Johan - they are together but so very far apart. Johan, Anna's little son, is the only one that wants to establish a real connection, but when the film ends, he has already begun to suspect what life's about - the first steps to a rude awakening.
There are not many films like "The Silence". This film is really what could be called a masterpiece. It is very difficult for me to describe "The Silence" and the feelings/emotions it provoked in me. All I can say that it is a very rich film and each viewing will reveal new things and different angles to the viewer. "The Silence" is cinematic art in its purest form.
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