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Silent Souls (2011)

TOMATOMETER

Average Rating: 7.7/10
Reviews Counted: 44
Fresh: 42
Rotten: 2

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Average Rating: 8/10
Reviews Counted: 13
Fresh: 13
Rotten: 0

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

AUDIENCE SCORE

Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 701

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Movie Info

When Miron's beloved wife Tanya passes away, he asks his best friend Aist to help him say goodbye to her according to the rituals of the Merja culture, an ancient Finno-Ugric tribe from Lake Nero, a picturesque region in West-Central Russia. Although the Merja people assimilated into Russians in the 17th century, their myths and traditions live on in their descendants' modern life. The two men set out on a road trip thousands of miles across the boundless land, with them, two small birds in a … More

Rating:
Unrated
Genre:
Art House & International , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
Denis Osokin
In Theaters:
On DVD:
Feb 25, 2013
Runtime:
Shadow Distribution - Official Site


Cast



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Critic Reviews for Silent Souls

All Critics (45) | Top Critics (13) | Fresh (42) | Rotten (2)

A meditation on death and sex, it's a melancholy and touchingly profound folk tale, though also deeply weird in places - pagan vajazzling, anyone?

Full Review… | June 19, 2012
Time Out
Top Critic

It's lovely and slow and melancholic and short - 75 minutes, yet you feel you've been gone for an epoch or two.

Full Review… | January 19, 2012
Boston Globe
Top Critic

An astonishing, haunting, sensual, lyrical, bleak and ultimately beautiful road-trip movie.

Full Review… | December 22, 2011
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Rife with earthy details and poetic associations, the movie often advances like a daydream.

Full Review… | December 8, 2011
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

This profound and immensely touching film in only 75 perfect minutes achieves the profundity of an epic.

Full Review… | December 8, 2011
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

The Russian drama unfolds as a series of perplexing, fascinating snapshots, yet the predominant story about saying goodbye - to people and customs - are universal.

Full Review… | October 21, 2011
Washington Post
Top Critic

... slow and introspective, paced in long, still shots that seem to drift in time rather than march forward.

Full Review… | March 23, 2013
Turner Classic Movies Online

Overwhelms us with meaningful silence.

Full Review… | February 14, 2013
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Shot in a series of long single takes in the remote reaches of a chilly landscape the film evokes how the acceptance of loss can bring a sense of peace.

Full Review… | June 30, 2012

Full of striking visual images and fragmentary half-truths - a dour meditation on love and death that arrests and alienates in equal measure.

Full Review… | June 24, 2012
Observer [UK]

The performances are pitch perfect. The culture is fascinating. See it. See it. See it.

Full Review… | June 22, 2012
Irish Times

Aleksei Fedorchenko's crisp, beautiful film ponders the oddness and necessity of the folk rites in which we all seek solace.

Full Review… | June 22, 2012
Daily Telegraph

It is an odd, low-key film but the brief running time ensures that it never overstays its welcome.

Full Review… | June 22, 2012
Daily Express

Fedorchenko may not exactly be on oath with all of these Meryan traditions of his, but they create an utterly distinctive world, and the close harmony provided by a choir in one scene really is arresting.

Full Review… | June 21, 2012
Guardian

A disarming tableau about life, love and death, Aleksei Fedorchenko's lyrical drama is soup for the soul.

Full Review… | June 21, 2012
What Culture

The wheels within wheels of sly tale-spinning turn quietly, turn deep.

Full Review… | June 21, 2012
Financial Times

An incredibly moving and masterfully controlled experience.

Full Review… | June 21, 2012
Little White Lies

A beautiful piece of work: heart-wrending, atmospheric and truly poignant. Recommended.

Full Review… | June 19, 2012
Empire Magazine

Beguiling, dreamy and mystifying. And quite unlike anything else. An unexpected cinematic treat.

Full Review… | June 14, 2012
The List

There's nothing here Andrei Tarkovsky didn't achieve in his prime, but at a mere 78 minutes it maintains focus with admirable purity.

Full Review… | June 14, 2012
Total Film

The finale may leave some unfulfilled, but this is an intuitive visual essay that begs to be experienced.

Full Review… | May 20, 2012
Empire Magazine Australasia

If Silent Souls is slow and cryptic, with long takes and mysterious metaphors, it achieves a great sense of poetic realism

Full Review… | May 16, 2012
Sydney Morning Herald

Stunningly photographed for the wide screen SILENT SOULS is another indication that the Russian cinema, despite its problems, is still capable of producing major work.

Full Review… | May 16, 2012
At the Movies (Australia)

A resonant, lyrical and beautifully realised cinematic experience.

Full Review… | May 15, 2012
FILMINK (Australia)

Simple but not simplistic, Silent Souls resonates like a beautiful bell

Full Review… | May 11, 2012
Urban Cinefile

Audience Reviews for Silent Souls

'Silent Souls'. Long, patient takes, meticulous direction, stunning imagery, and a strange old tale of holding onto the past.

More
c0up
c0up  

Super Reviewer

½

In "Silent Souls," Aist(Igor Sergeev) is the son of a famous poet. Having failed to write anything of his own, Aist works in a paper factory. While making time with a female security guard, he is called to the office of Miron(Yuriy Tsurilo), his boss. It's not about that, however. See, Miron's younger wife Tanya(Yuliya Aug) has just died and he needs help in attending to the appropriate funeral rites. Since this might take a few days, Aist, takes along the birds, buntings, that he just bought.

"Silent Souls" is a rather beguiling movie. If it is oddly so, it is perhaps the way an outsider, or the viewer, sees the customs shown which are fading away in this modern world.(The scene in the box store exemplifies this clash of worlds.) In any case, the narration is definitely necessary, as else we might come to a thoroughly different conclusion as to what is really happening.(Like for instance, that Miron murdered the unhappy Tanya which I am not entirely ruling out.) We see all of this mostly over the characters' shoulders which does make it kind of hard to focus on them at times while the movie's deliberate pace does wonders in establishing a keen sense of loneliness. Even with the funereal mood, I am wondering how seriously to take the movie at times, considering the awful poetry, not as bad as Vogon poetry, mind you, but still bad, which is pretty ridiculous.

More
Harlequin68
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

Silent Souls Quotes


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