Silent Souls (2011)

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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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 cage. Along the way, as is custom for the Merjans, Miron shares intimate memories of his conjugal life. But as they reach the banks of the sacred lake where they will forever part with the body, he realizes he wasn't the only one in love with Tanya... -- (C) Shadow Distribution
Rating:
NR
Genre:
Art House & International , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 limited
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:

Cast

Yuliya Aug
as Tanya
Ivan Tushin
as Aist as a Child
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Critic Reviews for Silent Souls

All Critics (44) | Top Critics (13)

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 7, 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 20, 2011
Washington Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Silent Souls

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.

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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

c0up  
c0up  

Super Reviewer

Extremely intimate in subject and style, this film fascinates from the start. The adaptation is a little more literal than it should be, and the ending is a startling film school cheat, but this road movie is well worth the trip.

Christien Tuttle
Christien Tuttle

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