This week, our writers discuss a film that speaks quietly to its audience and requires the recognition of the quiet intensity of the narrative. SILENCE (Pat Collins 2012) is about a sound recordist, Eoghan (Eoghan Mac Giolla Bhride), who returns to Ireland after 15 years of living in Germany to record areas free of man-made sound. During his quest, he is influenced by folklore and a series of challenging encounters that reflect the intangible silence of his childhood. The film celebrates the beautifully poetic landscape of Ireland and the stories it has to tell.
While SILENCE (Pat Collins 2012) does not offer much in terms of a sophisticated narrative, it does provide a thought-provoking exploration of the philosophical concept of “home”. When sound recordist Eoghan (Eoghan MacGiolla Bhríd) returns home to the remote Tory Island after living in Germany for fifteen years, the audience are taken on a journey with him through the poetic sounds of the Irish landscape.
As Eoghan searches for sounds that are free from man-made noises, the picturesque settings he ventures to on his travels create the backdrop for a soundtrack provided by nature. A symphony of bird songs, blowing winds and crashing waves all add to Eoghan’s journey home, sounds that were carefully chosen by SILENCE’s sound recordists John Brennan and Eammon Little. Eoghan immerses the audience with the sounds he discovers; they are sounds that create a sense of synaesthesia, engaging more than just one of the senses by pulling the listeners to these locations. The scenes where Eoghan is at one with the landscape and listens to the sounds of the natural world are especially immersive and three-dimensional. You can almost feel the wind brushing against you as birds fly over head and sing to one another. It is incredibly relaxing to hear, evoking a sense of safety akin to that felt by being somewhere you can call home.
It is a nostalgic feeling, especially if it you grew up in a similarly rural setting. Rather than representing the physical home that Eoghan returns to, it audibly symbolises the familiarity and safety felt when reminiscing about where you have come from. It makes the film more powerful; as Eoghan is transported home, so are the audience.
Every day this week a different writer will provide their perspective on our MUBIVIEWS film and each post will be open to comments from our readers. Watch SILENCE on mubi.com until 26 April 2017 and join the discussion!
One MUBI film, five perspectives, endless possibilities.