The Silence

The Silence

David Jahn (Sebastian Blomberg) in THE SILENCE, a film directed by Baran bo Odar. Picture courtesy of Music Box Films. All rights reserved.

The Silence (2010/2013)

Opened: 03/08/2013 Limited

Cinema Village03/08/2013 - 04/04/201328 days
Nuart Theatre03/08/2013 - 03/14/20137 days
Music Hall 303/15/2013 - 03/21/20137 days
Music Box Thea...03/15/2013 - 03/21/20137 days
Kendall Square...03/22/2013 - 03/28/20137 days

Trailer: Click for trailer

Websites: Home

Genre: German Crime Thriller (German w/English subtitles)

Rated: Unrated


The Silence begins on a hot summer day, when a girl named Pia is brutally murdered in a field of wheat by Peer (Ulrich Thomsen), as his helpless friend Timo (Wotan Wilke Moehring) watches. Exactly 23 years later, another 13-year-old, Sinikka, is missing, her bicycle abandoned in the same spot, leading police to suspect the same killer may be at work again. Recently widowed detective David and his colleague Janna struggle to solve the mystery of these parallel crimes with the help of Krischan, the retired investigator of the unresolved case. While Sinikka's distraught parents are trapped in an agonizing period of waiting and uncertainty, their daughter's fate rips open unhealed wounds in the heart of Pia's mother and sends Timo in search of Peer and their own old desires.

In his strikingly commanding debut feature, Swiss-born Baran bo Odar adapts Jan Costin Wagner's novel with his own unmistakable signature. Gripping performances by top European actors - headed by Ulrich Thomsen (In a Better World, The Celebration), Sebastian Blomberg (The Baader Meinhof Complex), Katrin Sass (Good Bye, Lenin!) and Burghart Klaussner (The White Ribbon) - enrich this intense drama far beyond the crime genre.

Selected Press Reactions

FOUR STARS "Everyone should rush to see this icy and gripping thriller. I was on the edge of my seat." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

FOUR STARS "An exceptionally powerful film. A complex study of guilt and obsession" - Total Film

FOUR STARS "If you liked The Killing, you'll love this." - BBC 5 Live

"Baran bo Odar's moody and magnificent crime thriller is an elegant combination of subtle chills and haunting melodrama." -- Screen Daily

Director's Statement

In THE SILENCE I combine two genres, thriller and melodrama. My primary focus isn't the question "Whodunit?" but more the emotional state of the characters. How does one cope with the loss of a loved one? In different ways the protagonists are preoccupied with this issue, which is the common theme running through this constellation of characters. THE SILENCE is an ensemble piece with a wonderful cast, including Ulrich Thomsen, Wotan Wilke Mohring, Sebastian Blomberg, Katrin Sass, Burkhart Klaussner, and Karoline Eichhorn, to name but a few. Their acting expresses what words no longer can. Their faces reveal feelings such as despair and emotional states such as guilt in all their nuances and show even the most fleeting changes. That's where the real tragedy unfolds.

-- Baran bo Odar

Producer's Statement

THE SILENCE is a rather unusual feature film debut, a contemporary neo-noir as well as a visually impressive, gripping relationship drama. It is an ensemble film fueled by the emotional state of its characters, a tragedy that unfolds in the most subtle way. The criminal case is just a way into the psyche of the characters and their emotional states. Their encounters, marked by the trauma of an existential loss, are like duels: issues that have been repressed for years erupt without ever being mentioned. Loneliness, despair, guilt and atonement -- bewildered, the characters face a crime that makes no apparent sense.

THE SILENCE also marks yet another cinematic accomplishment for director Baran bo Odar and his DoP Nik Summerer. They studied film together at the Hochschule fur Film und Fernsehen in Munich and previously joined forces on "Unter der Sonne", their graduation film. Even back then, Nik Summerer's powerful visual images impressed us and that's again the case in THE SILENCE. The precision and visual strength of his elegant cinemascope camera work captivates the audience, drawing them deeper and deeper into the psychological discord triggered by the disappearance of 13-year-old Sinikka.

The complex world that Baran bo Odar sets out to create is further brought to fruition by Yesim Zolan and Christian M. Goldbeck's production design, Katharina Ost's costume design, Robert Rzesacz's editing, and the music of pas de deux (Michael Kamm, Chris Steininger). The careful preparations and the constant exchange between the department heads, as well as Baran bo Odar's clear artistic vision, can be felt in even the most minute details of this film.

THE SILENCE is the result of successful collaboration between Cine Plus Filmproduktion, Berlin, and luthje schneider | FILM, Munich. We share Baran bo Odar's passion for gripping stories and powerful visuals, and appreciate his ability to utilize the techniques of Hollywood cinema to tell a German story without ever sacrificing its universal theme. With his short film "Quietsch" (Cine Plus Filmproduktion) and his graduation film "Unter der Sonne" (luthje schneider | FILM), Baran bo Odar has established himself as a director who knows exactly what stories he wants to tell, and as a filmmaker with a distinctly formal and aesthetic handwriting.

-- Jorg Schulze, Frank Evers, Maren Luthje, Florian Schneider