Beyond Silence (Jenseits der Stille) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Beyond Silence (Jenseits der Stille) Reviews

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Super Reviewer
March 5, 2007
Beautiful film...
cosmo313
Super Reviewer
July 12, 2006
This is a beautiful film in almost every aspect imaginable. This is the type of film that, since it is a foreign film, makes me dislike American films because this one doesn't have to rely on copious amounts of language, sex, or violence to be a good entertaining film that people will go and see.
Super Reviewer
½ June 7, 2009
Wonderful, quiet film about being yourself.
September 27, 2007
This is an amazing film, better than many that are done in America, plotwise. I absolutely loved this so much I can't think of a way to give it justice with words alone.
January 1, 2013
You might not believe it's so real, but I speak from experience as a hearing child of a deaf parent, I've experienced all those scenes of translation, fights with my dad, etc. Love it.
½ November 20, 2012
Worthy of its Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Film that year.
½ September 2, 2012
The stakes are so low that it's hard to get involved, even if the movie itself is perfectly competent otherwise.
August 2, 2012
Stunningly photographed with beautiful musical performances, 'Beyond Silence' lacks a gripping script and the top-notch acting that it needs to make it a real winner. A little disappointing but still watchable.
February 19, 2012
Incredibly moving film about a hearing child born to deaf parents. Well made. Loved it, absolutely loved it.
September 20, 2011
The description of the film above stinks terribly. Plus major actor like that for Martin is not in the listing, but minor actors are. Why are Hearing actors more important than Deaf ones?!!
Lara's parents are not deaf and dumb, but just deaf. They are not dumb and are very expressive. Using sign language does not make them dumb. Only an idiot would say that. The sign language they use is not International Sign Language, but German Sign Language. Another idiotic label of their sign language!
The problem between the father of Lara and his sister does not originate from sibling rivalry, but from the unjust punishment he received from his audist father when he laughs out loud at the odd facial movements of a singer during a musical performance. The prejudices that this family has are not locally bound, but are widespread in countries all over the world. This is called audism, a mindset of hearing as the ultima ration of human existence, from which prejudices and discriminations against deaf people emanate.

Hartmut
½ February 14, 2011
Very naturalistic. Lots of fragments that seemed to go nowhere and little resolution at the end.
Super Reviewer
September 10, 2008
nominated for best foreign film at the oscars and by NBR
September 29, 2009
a very good taking film
½ August 26, 2009
Such a cute movie. I normally don't think German movies are that great but this movie was really good.
June 10, 2009
Such a wonderful movie with wonderful actors (even the children!!) and wonderful music!!
Super Reviewer
½ June 7, 2009
Wonderful, quiet film about being yourself.
January 23, 2009
At times cliche, at times irritating (the aunt's character was particularly grating), but at all times endearing and earnest. Very sweet, tender film about family, acceptance, growing up, and trial and error. I was absolutely delighted with the end result.
January 21, 2009
I've only seen two of writer-director Caroline Link's films now (the other being the Academy award-winning Nowhere in Africa), and I think I can safely say that she has quickly become one of my favorite filmmakers.

It's not that Link's films are filmed in any extraordinary way; in fact, when watching Beyond Silence last night, I hardly noticed the camera's movements at all. I didn't pay attention to the cuts, the pans, the zooms, the... you know, whatever else it is that directing is all about.
Instead, what I noticed was the way that the characters interacted. I noticed the way that the actors looked at one another, the way they held their hands. Although Link may not have a distinctive style visually, she has a clear knack for directing her cast -- or at least, she has a knack for snagging brilliant performers.

The story tells of a young girl named Lara who has two deaf parents. There's a lot of familial trouble here, with Lara's father disliking his sister Clarissa. Clarissa plays the clarinet and encourages Lara to do the same, which only serves to put more distance between the parent and his daughter. Lara has trouble having deaf parents, Clarissa and her father have difficulty dealing with having a deaf relative, Lara's parents have trouble coping with a hearing daughter, and innumerable other mish-mashes of obstacles and problems and questions arise.
What's interesting about this film is that despite the apparently simple storyline (which has kind of a sappy ending, seemingly obvious moral choices, and a surplus of loose ends), so much is brought to the table by the strength of the acting alone. Yes, I would say that this is an actor's film -- but unlike this year's Doubt, which I also said this about, the performances are not loud and broad and demanding. Instead, the action is subtle and whispered and casual.

One scene in particular sticks out in my mind, although it's kind of spoiler-y. When Lara is in her teenage years, her mother gets into an automobile accident and dies. After learning this news, the next scene shows Lara curled up in bed with her father and sister; they are both with him to provide him some comfort during this troublesome time. It is early morning and the sun is shining into the room, as everyone remains asleep. Everyone, that is, except Lara's father: he is staring into the sun with his brow furrowed in sadness and anger and confusion. It's an immensely powerful scene, and yet it is mere seconds long.

Alright, from here on out, no more spoilers. The point I am trying to make here is that the reason that this film is so affecting is because of these small moments, these small sighs and gentle gestures. One of the most moving scenes in Link's Nowhere in Africa is a love scene. That scene is not shown in any graphic or demeaning way. It's quiet and the characters involved seem to share a connection that can't be written into a script. Here, Link has captured that emotion and stretched it out through the entire film.

Despite some of the aforementioned missteps, e.g. the rushed ending, Beyond Silence is a powerful film: not a tale of the deaf dealing with the hearing or vice-versa, not a tale of a father dealing with his daughter or vice-versa, not a tale of a girl falling in love with a man or vice-versa. Instead, it's merely a story about humans. If there are loose ends, it shouldn't be surprising: there are loose ends in real life. These characters interact with one another, they are affected by each other, and it is not all reaching toward one ultimate goal or moral.
Beyond Silence is a remarkable, intimate film.
December 21, 2008
Dieser Film ist ├╝ber eine Familie, deren Eltern taubstumme sind. Tatjana Trieb, unglaublicherweise, spielt Lara als Kind.
½ November 28, 2008
I don't necessarily lock-stock-and-barrel agree with the "ueber-hokey" part above. Definitely a message in the movie for musicians of any sort. I actually like the interweaving of themes of sounds, silence, society. This story made me pine for my days of intense music making (albeit sans the being broke aspect). There's a level of predictability that gums up the freedome of the story; however, it's a great twist on stories in a similar vein. Love the tunes, great music!
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