Silence and Darkness
The feature debut of director Barak Barkan, sensitive thriller Silence and Darkness dares to tread where no movie has ventured before. The film explores themes of innocence, survival, co-dependency and how they can be tested when one tries to play god. Barkan presents a finished article that, through a medium of limited dialogue, will leave viewers unnerved and absorbed into a unique story with desperate consequences.
Silence and Darkness centres around a family of three: sisters Anna (Mina Walker) and Beth (Joan Glackin), and their father (Jordan Lage). Living in a remote, tree-surrounded abyss, the family manage their circumstances in happy solitude, Anna being blind and Beth deaf. Together, the sisters work as coadjutant to one another, living relatively normal lives as their medical practitioner father works and cares for them both. However, under the surface things are not as they seem, and a rolling series of events begins to unlock one family member’s true intentions.
Trust plays an enormous role, and it erodes with the foul deeds that play out, but it’s an emotion that is effortlessly portrayed. Anna and Beth rely on each other to live a full life, and the amazing relationship is caringly and pivotally manufactured (wonderfully depicted by Walker and Glackin), before the narrative takes a more sinister turn. Due to the restricted dialogue, the cast carry the story arc largely through their actions – a difficult task that is expertly dispatched with commanding and mature performances.
This quiet drama is further aided by artful filmic elements that fill the void. The cinematography is vast, embracing the environment to full effect as Omar Nasr engulfs the viewer in a scenic world of beautiful landscapes. Fusing these shots with more intimate moments between the cast members, Nasr and Barkan transform the production into a visual collage as well as a psychological chiller.
A metaphorical cloud of doom lingers over the beautiful home, haunting the inhabitants with a burden of uncertainty as the film makes its way to a climax that unravels the real truth. With a run time of just 81 minutes, Silence and Darkness is a surprisingly slow burner, but it is devilishly seductive and effective in being so, transforming the key elements of its narrative into a thrilling spectacle.
Silence and Darkness is released digitally on demand on 5th September 2020.
Watch the trailer for Silence and Darkness here: