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Stellet Licht (Silent Light) (2007)

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No Score Yet...

Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 4
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 1

audience

69

liked it
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 5,267

My Rating

Movie Info

A man of faith succumbs to a temptation he cannot resist in this drama written and directed by Carlos Reygadas. Johan (Cornelio Wall Fehr) and Esther (Miriam Toews) have been married for years, and live with their children in a Mennonite community Mexico. While Johan and Esther are both taciturn by nature, a moral dilemma is tearing Johan apart -- he's been having an affair with another woman in their circle, Marianne (Maria Pankratz), and feels he may be falling in love with her. While the

PG,

Art House & International, Drama

Carlos Reygadas

Sep 8, 2009

Bac Films - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (10) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (9) | Rotten (1) | DVD (1)

...traces the imperceptible reverberations of a guilty conscience.

July 23, 2014 Full Review Source: LarsenOnFilm
LarsenOnFilm

It's told with Dreyer-like conviction.

June 26, 2012 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

As the film progresses, its hypnosis becomes heightened, its spell becomes entrancing.

September 16, 2010 Full Review Source: Window to the Movies
Window to the Movies

Silent Light is a hard film to love, but it just might be an even harder one to shake.

September 8, 2010 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

A beautiful, thoughtful and haunting film

January 15, 2010 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide | Comments (2)
Apollo Guide

Audience Reviews for Stellet Licht (Silent Light)

This film is nothing short of a masterpiece. Be forewarned, however, that this movie (like most "masterpieces") isn't for everybody.

That being said, I think this movie is brilliant food for thought; it's film for thought, actually. I love when a film, such as this one, has something to say--but DOESN'T say it. It is so full of subtext and symbolism that (like a good book) it requires the viewer to delegate what matters and how it matters. Every one takes something unique from this film.

The story of a modest Mennonite man living in rural Mexico with his wife and children-- in doubt over his behavior and the way said behavior affects his faith is simple enough. And, on the surface, there doesn't seem to be much going on in the film. Suddenly (or, at last) a secret is revealed and this secret is what the whole foundation of this film (and this man's existence) lies upon.

Reductive film-goers will argue that this movie could be an hour shorter and more fast-paced. I tend to disagree, mostly because that kind of person (of whom I know one or two) is the kind that will deem a movie to be "bad" simply based on its length.

If you are a patient viewer who enjoys to be immersed in a cinematic landscape that is alien to your own, then this movie is definitely for you.

Granted, the film IS "slow" as molasses in parts--but it never meanders into pointlessness or self-indulgence by the director. The shots are composed the way they are for a reason and for complete effect.

Previous efforts by director Carlos Reygadas include Japon and Battle in Heaven. So, there's a fair share of provocative controversy that comes attached to each of his projects--and Silent Light is no different.

You'll find this film to be, at least, an interesting exercise in cinematography and symbolic composition.

From its paradoxical title (Silent Light) to its surrealistic resurrection scene, this movie will leave you mesmerized--and highly rewarded if you've afforded it the chance to move you.
March 14, 2009
flickfever

Super Reviewer

The film begins with an incredible shot of a sunrise. Slowly everything comes into focus and as the light shines on the camera begins to move closer in. It's a very slow but also very beautiful beginning. The same can be said for the entire film. Slow scenes and long shots of incredible beauty that unfortunately doesn't take advantage of the medium. These are more like still paintings and as such the running time is a chore. 2 hours or just 90 minutes would have made this is a fantastic film overall. The acting is also not realistic, coming off as forced. The internal struggle of each character is well worked, and some excellent quiet moments take center stage. A couple stripping and then just embracing each other for a while. A man crying at an empty table holding a spoon. It's a few artistically wonderful moments in a brave and calm film.
August 21, 2008
kiriyamakazou

Super Reviewer

Glacially paced tale of infidelity in a religious sect which struggles to convince with amateur actors. Pleasing restraint is pushed too far with painfully long takes and wide shots.
July 3, 2008
gor41
Gordon A

Super Reviewer

Beautifully filmed, with no music score to distract the viewer, this is a lush film that unfortunately takes more than two hours to tell a simple tale that would have been better served with a much tighter edit. There is little to distract, but also very little to engage the viewer as scenes stretch on interminably with very little dialog. As a glimpse into life in a Mennonite community in northern Mexico, this leaves a lot to be desired, as there is little insight into the beliefs and practices of the people. All we really know comes from observation. The families tend to be large. All members of the family are expected to contribute. The religious observances are quite austere and more conducive to inner reflection than to building community. And this community is not immune to infidelity. A most unsatisfying experience for this viewer.
December 17, 2010
Mark Abell

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Stellet Licht (DE)
  • Silent Light (Stellet Licht) (UK)
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