film festival

Silver Screen Falls Silent

  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Several films at this year’s Berlinale festival had little dialogue, preferring to let images speak for themselves and suggesting words create barriers rather than clarity.

  • Facts


    • The Berlinale runs for ten days through February 19 with movies in several sections and prizes are presented for the best films.
    • Berlin’s International Film Festival was established in 1951 by the U.S. military government and is now mainly funded by subsidies.
    • “On Body and Soul” by the Hungarian director Ildikó Enyedi is one of the better but quieter films in the festival.
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76171172 On Body and SOul Berlinale2
The sound of silence echoed in some of the films but there was more talk off screen. Source: Berlinale

“A grievous error has people believe that language arose in order to facilitate their mutual relations.” This quote by French author Michel Leiris could almost be a motto for the 67th Berlin Film Festival. It feels like this year’s films have conspired with each other to show how language is fundamentally flawed, how words form barriers and how the truth of what is said ultimately doesn’t matter.

“On Body and Soul” by the Hungarian director Ildikó Enyedi is a case in point. It is one of the standout films at the festival and underscores the disconnect between yearning and its expression. Ms. Enyedi makes a welcome return to filmmaking after a hiatus, and fans of her breakout film, “My Twentieth Century” – which won her the Cannes Camera d’Or in 1989 – will recognize some familiar themes.

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