GFF Review: Silent Land

Adam and Anna

White European privileged is often understated, it’s hard to accurately quantify the benefits and entitlements afforded by dint of birth. One is tourism. We love to travel. To experience a different culture/climate and place all our daily worries on hold for a week or two. Everything has to be prefect. There’s little or no thought given to the impact this will have on the locals or those reliant on the sector to earn a living. Silent Land considers this through the lens of a taut relationship drama.

Adam (Dobromir Dymecki) and Anna (Agnieszka Zulewska) arrive at their villa on a picturesque Italian island, both set for the perfect getaway.  They unpack their crisply folded clothes into wardrobes, rearranging the minimalist décor as they go. They plan to exist in their own cocoon.  However, their perfectly planned escape begins to fall apart when they discover their pool is damaged. This heralds a process of unravelling.  

Silent Land is a formatively riveting drama which relies on patterns and routine to drive the narrative forward. Adam and Anna’s mannered conservatism is punctuated a tragic event. Guilt rapidly chips away at their relationship. Agnieszka Woszczynska’s feature debut is exhilaratingly structured. The sterility and self-restraint is captured beautifully by Dymecki and Zulewska’s assured performances. Silent Land slowly thaws, revealing its message layer by layer.  

Silent Land screened at Glasgow Film Festival and will be released in UK cinemas on 23 September.

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