Silent Light (Mexico/Germany, 2007, 145 mins.): From the acclaimed director of Japón and Battle in Heaven, Carlos Reygadas, Silent Light/Stellet Licht tells a tale of adultery within a north Mexico Mennonite community whose inhabitants’ isolation is reflected in both their language, an archaic form of German (Plautdietsch), and traditional attire. If one were to simply outline the plot of this film, it would read like a rather trite love-triangle narrative: a married man and father of six falls in love with another woman and struggles to decide what matters more to him--passion or devotion. However, Reygadas’s exquisite visual style turns the tale into visual poetry and transforms a seemingly simple love story into a highly complex examination of spirituality, sacrifice, and desire. Both Manohla Dargis and A. O. Scott, film critics for the New York Times, deemed Silent Light one of the top ten films of 2008 and the film's Cannes audience reportedly rewarded its first screening with a standing ovation and a chorus of tearful “Bravos.” Martin Scorsese also sung the praises of the film, commending Reygagadas's "extraordinarily rich sense of cinema" and " the delicacy of the interactions between the people on screen, the drama of redemption.” Although this film first showed at various international film festivals in 2007, it only recently received American distribution. Given its outstanding cinematography, this is a film that absolutely warrants viewing on a big screen where one can more fully appreciate both its stunning opening shots and its hauntingly beautiful and tormenting finale.
NOTE: The Thursday night screenings of this film will be introduced by Dr. April Miller, Assistant Professor and Director of Film Studies.
Synopsis by April Miller