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After watching The Silence I read a handful of reviews but I found none that even mentioned my interpretation of the film. Maybe I'm looking at it all wrong, maybe everyone else missed what I saw or maybe I just didn't read the right reviews. In any case, I found this film to be the best movie I've ever seen dealing with the frustration of having to live our lives in the apparent silence of God.
Most of the reviews I read dealt with the interaction between the two sisters and the son, and they all made interesting points about those relationships. However, I found no mention of the palpable namesake of the film -- the silence of God. Throughout the film, the three main characters interact with metaphorical images of our perception of God -- and in all these instances, He is silent.
First, the boy runs into a repairman who fixes a light in silence. Then we meet the old man who works at (runs?) the hotel. While he is not silent, he speaks a different language and any sort of communication is severly limited. There are the dwarves, chaotic and random and who speak gibberish. There is the man who is the lover, who is physical but silent. There is the tank that rolls through the streets. It is vengeful, menacing and, of course, silent.
While the interaction between the two sisters can be seen as two sides of the same coin -- or the same person (the side that feels opposed to the side that reasons) -- and even the child then as a symbol of the "inner child," I think these characters also demonstrate how we try to interact not only with each other, but with God. The sister who winds up with the lover wants a physical manifestation of God's presence. However, even in the midst of passion, she is left in silence. The other dying sister is content to interact with a God she cannot quite understand or comprhend, but she recognizes the beauty of his creation (such as when her and the old man share the joy of listening to the music) and is content to see God working in the mundane, small instances in life. The child sees God in all these forms, all of them silent, and all of them, I think, inacurate human perceptions of God.
I think the film actually ends with a bit of hope. The child reads the bit of paper given to him by the dying sister -- he will continue his search to find, to hear God...
Edited by Darryl A. Armstrong, 26 October 2004 - 01:59 PM.