Directed: Mohsen Makhmalbaf
Country: Tajikistan, Iran
Because of his special gift in identifying objects by the sounds they make, a blind young boy is employed as a string instrument tuner in a small village in Tajikistan. He may be blind but that does not mean he cannot see. On his way to work, he could tell the quality of the bread the young girls along the streets are peddling by simply touching their ware. His world is made more colorful and quaint because of his sensitivity to his surroundings. The only problem is that he is easily "tempted" by street musicians' performances and arrives late at work.
The Silence is an empowering, inspiring narrative; its main motif, its play with image and sound as a reflection of Qrshid’s subjectivity, is strikingly elegant; it offers an array of rich, beautiful images; not in the least of, possibly, two of the most beautiful children ever put on screen.
It reaches out to all people, in all subtlety conveying the universal power of music - strikingly - with Beethoven's Fifth symphony as running motive. If you ever get a chance, humbly sit down with your wine, watch it, possibly meditate - you'll be happier.
This is a work of auditory and visual delight. This movie makes me glad I splurged on a fancy
"sound-bar" and wide screen monitor for my computer last year. I thought
when the film started that the obviously stilted dialog was a mark of an
amateurish movie. (don't look at the camera girls!)
How far, far wrong I was. It appears to me that the director purposely
injected stilted dialog to starkly contrast with the intertwining of
natural sounds of the environment. The use of sound and perceptions in
this film are brilliant.
I was captured by the scene when Nadereh loses Khorshid in the
market...she closes her eyes to find him...
Although this film seems to have more that its fair share of "banjos on
buses" (j/k) it aspires to delight with sound and sight. The close shots
of Nadereh and her little expressions are telling points of the film.
The final episode by the lake is an amazing merge of story, sounds and
"Everybody likes music"
[review by Chase]