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The Silence

(Das Letzte Schweigen)

Montreal Premiere

  • Crime / Thriller
  • /
  • Germany
  • /
  • 2010
  • /
  • 118 min
  • /
  • 35mm
  • /
  • German with English subtitles
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WINNER: Jury Prize, Beaune International Detective Film Festival 2011

Screening Times

“Moody and magnificent… an elegant combination of subtle chills and haunting melodrama” — Mark Adams, SCREEN INTERNATIONAL

« Un thriller choral et fiévreux sur les propensions humaines au mal. …on plonge dans l'histoire comme dans les meilleurs polars du genre. » — Julien Welter, PREMIÈRE


Director: Baran bo Odar
Screenplay: Baran bo Odar, from Jan Costin Wagner
Cast: Ulrich Thomsen, Wotan Wilke Möhring, Katrin Sass, Burghar Tklaussner, Sebastian Blomberg
Producers: Jörg Schulze, Frank Evers, Florian Schneider, Maren Lüthje
Print Source: Bavaria Film International

Screens with...

A Doctor's Job   

A Doctor's Job

North american Premiere
2011 | 10 min
Spanish language, English subtitles



On July 8, 1986, two pedophiles planning to act on their fantasy end up killing an 11-year-old girl. The murder case is never solved. Twenty-three years later, on the anniversary of the murder, another young girl is murdered in the same place, in the same way. Is that a sign that the same killer is acting again? The events of the following days unfold, as the new case is investigated and the old case is dug out of the archives, through multiple viewpoints — the one of Elena Lange, the still-grieving mother of the first victim, and the parents of the new one; the just-retired Detective Mittich, then responsible of the investigation, and the detectives on the new case, including Detective Jahn, returning to work after grieving the death of his wife; and Timo Fridrich, the involuntary collaborator of the original murder with his former friend Peer Sommer, who has since settled in a quiet life with a wife and children of his own. For Detective Mittich, who is convinced the two events are linked, it is a chance to finally solve a case that has troubled him for half of his career. For Elena, the news reopens the wounds of her lasting grief for the death of her child. For Timo, it brings back memories of his friendship with Peer and the events that led to the girl’s murder, which have tormented him, as well as questions as to why Peer would be acting up again after so long.

THE SILENCE travels back and forth in the events of the past and the present to dissect a police investigation, the struggle of a family that has lost a child and the events that led to a murder, to create an elegant mix of crime story, film noir and drama, enhanced by striking, impeccable photography, at once luminous and muted, and a haunting score — never to mention a stellar cast of faces familiar from THE CELEBRATION, GOOD BYE, LENIN! and PALERMO SHOOTING. Above all, THE SILENCE is a study of the overpowering nature of grief and guilt, whether they’re recent or long unresolved, and whether they’re for a loved one, an unsolved crime case or a murder one powerlessly allowed to happen. Based on the bestselling novel of the same title by German author Jan Costin Wagner, THE SILENCE follows Slamdance award-winner UNDER THE SUN as the sophomore effort from Swiss-born Baran bo Odar, one that earned him the honour of being named one of Variety’s 10 Directors to Watch in 2010.

—Stephanie Trepanier

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