Wednesday, April 10, 2013

"The Silence": a well-paced thriller about the guilt of an accidental accomplice

The Silence” (“Das letzte Schweigen”), from Baran bo Odar, presents the idea that a man can pay for the sins of someone else as well as his own.  But we he does so, he probably has more skeletons in his own closet.  It’s the law of karma.
As the film opens, on a July day in 1986 in a forest in Germany, a girl is riding a bicycle when a car starts to follow her. The rape and murder by the driver Peer (Ulrich Thomson) is horrific, and his companion Timo (Wotan Wilke Mohring) seems shocked at first, but then seems to go along.
Twenty-three years later on the same date, another girl disappears at the same spot.  The film develops the police and media investigation, with reference to the similarities of the past.  Slowly, Peer and Timo come back into the story.  The film really doesn’t show them as aged as much as would be expected.
But there is a twist this time.  The companion has a dark side, revealed by what is on his computer.  
Curiously, Peer has lived rather cleanly as an apartment handyman for some two decades.
The official site is here. The film is distributed in the US my Music Box.
I saw the film at the West End Cinema in Washington DC during an afternoon show. 

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