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Silent Souls (2011)



Average Rating: 8/10
Critic Reviews: 13
Fresh: 13 | Rotten: 0

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 698

My Rating

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


Art House & International, Drama

Denis Osokin

Feb 25, 2013

Shadow Distribution - Official Site External Icon

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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?

June 19, 2012 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

January 19, 2012 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
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An astonishing, haunting, sensual, lyrical, bleak and ultimately beautiful road-trip movie.

December 22, 2011 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

December 8, 2011 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

December 8, 2011 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop 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.

October 21, 2011 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

March 23, 2013 Full Review Source: Turner Classic Movies Online
Turner Classic Movies Online

Overwhelms us with meaningful silence.

February 14, 2013 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
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.

June 30, 2012 Full Review Source: 3AW

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

June 24, 2012 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

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

June 22, 2012 Full Review Source: Irish Times
Irish Times

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

June 22, 2012 Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph
Daily Telegraph

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

June 22, 2012 Full Review Source: Daily Express
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.

June 21, 2012 Full Review Source: Guardian

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

June 21, 2012 Full Review Source: What Culture
What Culture

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

June 21, 2012 Full Review Source: Financial Times
Financial Times

An incredibly moving and masterfully controlled experience.

June 21, 2012 Full Review Source: Little White Lies
Little White Lies

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

June 19, 2012 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

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

June 14, 2012 Full Review Source: The List
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.

June 14, 2012 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

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

May 20, 2012 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine Australasia
Empire Magazine Australasia

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

May 16, 2012 Full Review Source: Sydney Morning Herald
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.

May 16, 2012 Full Review Source: At the Movies (Australia)
At the Movies (Australia)

A resonant, lyrical and beautifully realised cinematic experience.

May 15, 2012 Full Review Source: FILMINK (Australia)
FILMINK (Australia)

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

May 11, 2012 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
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.
June 3, 2012

Super Reviewer

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.
April 17, 2014
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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