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Silent Light [DVD] [2007]

Cornelio Wall , Miriam Toews , Carlos Reygadas    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
Price: £7.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Silent Light [DVD] [2007] + Battle In Heaven [DVD] [2006] + Post Tenebras Lux [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Cornelio Wall, Miriam Toews, Maria Pankratz, Peter Wall
  • Directors: Carlos Reygadas
  • Format: PAL, Widescreen, Colour, Subtitled
  • Language: German
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Palisades Tartan
  • DVD Release Date: 19 July 2010
  • Run Time: 136 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003OV2SIO
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 21,112 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Temptation proves too much for a member of a religious community in this drama directed by Carlos Reygadas. While living in a Mennonite community in Mexico, married father Johan (Cornelio Wall), admits to his wife Esther (Miriam Toews) that he's been having an affair with fellow member Marianne (Maria Pankratz). With adultery forbidden by his faith, Johan faces a deep moral dilemma, complicated further by his belief that he's falling in love with Marianne. The situation worsens when Johan's father, made aware of the situation, announces that Johan has fallen under the spell of the devil.


Overwhelmingly powerful --The Guardian

Rivetingly beautiful --Sight & Sound

One of the finest films of the year --Little White Lies

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
By Alan Pavelin VINE VOICE
The stunningly beautiful, and immensely moving, Silent Light was, for me, the best film released in 2007, and its availability on DVD enables a wider audience to appreciate its marvels. While a reviewer in one Sunday newspaper informed his readers that it is "the kind of film favoured by those who are basically disdainful of movies", the fact that this same newspaper in 2006 described the Dardennes brothers' terrific L'Enfant as "really just a French version of Cathy Come Home" shows how much reliability can be placed on its judgements.

Silent Light is a mesmerising drama set in the Mennonite community of northern Mexico, with members of the community, non-actors all, playing the main parts. The dialogue is in the archaic Dutch-German language which they speak, and, for the first 90 minutes, is a simple story of a middle-aged family man agonising over his adulterous relationship with another woman in the community. Then there is an unexpected tragedy, followed by what is a virtual remake of the miraculous last scene of Carl Dreyer's 1955 classic Ordet.

The newspaper reviewer mentioned above cannot see the simple fact that Silent Light is a grown-up movie, shot in a grown-up way. The first 5 minutes are an extraordinary time-lapse sequence of the skies from night to sunrise, the soundtrack filled with sounds of the waking natural world; the last 5 minutes are the reverse (sunset to night). If people prefer pointless cgis and rapid-cut editing, so be it; but they are depriving themselves of the experience of what cinema can do.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best of world cinema 1 Jun 2009
By technoguy VINE VOICE
This film acts like a purgation of the junk-fest sensation and cliché language and plots of our normal cinema.It takes us out of the real world and puts our senses through a sieve through a habit of perfection,distilling an uncreated light. There is a movement in world cinema to utilise non-professional actors and natural light together.The opening (and closing) shots open us up to a slow action shot almost in real time from constellations in a black sky to dawn shots of the rising sun,with all the attendant sounds of crickets,cicadas and cattle lowing.This is a filtered and idealised human nature set in a Mennonite community of Plautdiesh -speaking people who are attuned to the season's cycles, through cattle farming and crop harvesting.The film is composed of beautiful tableaus of widescreen natural vistas,earth and sky meeting on wide horizons, well captured on the many driving sequences,backed up with a soundscape of waving grass and trees,crickets,birds and running water. Johan is sitting with his wife and six children giving silent grace with a ticking clock. Beneath the harmonious surface there is tension between the couple.His wife Esther takes the children out and he breaks down in tears when alone. He has been having a two year affair with Marianne,another Mennonite (single)female.The imagery in this film induces a kind of trance-like contemplation. His infatuated mood expresses itself through him driving round his friend Zackaria to some raunchy music.He goes on to meet Marianne in a long kissing scene which ends in them making love.He is well supported by his friend and father,who thinks it is fate or the devil's work but does not condemn him.Johan thinks every man makes his own fate. We cut to a beautiful scene of the family bathing together. Read more ›
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The camera as intruder on a private world 6 Jan 2009
I was once in an art history tutorial when a fellow piped up and asked whether the three legged stool the Madonna was sitting on was symbolic of the Holy Trinity. I recall the tutor looking politely doubtful while the rest of the class fell about cackling unkindly. His crime: striving and over-reaching to see meaning in a purely incidental relationship. Well, maybe it was incidental - maybe he was right, who knows? - but I laughed all the same.

Nevertheless, his disposition would stand that chap in good stead should he ever chance upon Carlos Reygadas' Silent Light. This film admits of - requires, even - an over-reaching to see meaning, and as such will not be everyone's cup of tea. I'm still not sure whether it was mine.

To be sure, there is a certain sort of buff to whom Silent Light will appeal greatly - he who is rejoices in straining to unpick a film-maker's message will be in heaven: such industry is obligatory since Carlos Reygadas has opted to communicate his message in the most eliptical way. Reygadas is, you see, an auteur (a fact which will fill you with glee or despair, depending on the significance you see imbued in things like three legged stools).

In many places, the Meaning of Silent Light is to be found not in dialogue (there isn't much) nor its delivery (the actors - real Mennonites - aren't professionally trained, and frequently may as well be reading out technical manuals for all their performances convey) nor, really, in what happens in the film (in fairness, after a *very* slow build up, things do happen), but rather how it is *seen* to happen.

There is meaning, that is, in frame composition.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Silent Light vs Ordet's Light
Michael Ondaatje once said that there is a limit to what films can do in getting below the surface of things. This might well be said of Silent Light. Read more
Published 8 months ago by TravellerThruKalpas
5.0 out of 5 stars Silent Light.
This is a brilliant film. I found it extremely moving, non-judgmental and portraying everyone`s point of view. Beautiful photography and an exraordinary unexpected ending.
Published 14 months ago by Deborah Ward-Jackson
1.0 out of 5 stars A couple of wasted hours.
Martin scorsese thought it great, and the reviews are almost unanimously flattering. I say flattering because at the end I felt I had wasted two hours on what seemed to me to be a... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Allan Broadfield
3.0 out of 5 stars Unique not for all drama praised for it's rich deepness
An odd but praisingly different film about an Amish like family, in Mennonite Mexico. Cornelio Wall, a family man and husband is having an affair. Read more
Published on 14 Sep 2011 by T. BROOKES
4.0 out of 5 stars Silent Light may be very slow, but your patience will be rewarded.
'Silent Light' is a tragic drama about love, adultery and religion, set amongst a community of Plautdietsch-speaking Mennonites in rural Mexico. Read more
Published on 1 May 2011 by dipesh parmar
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, with a sorry sting in its tail.
Many films brim with lust for life, want you to share in their joy or aim to raise your spirit. 'Silent Light' turns out to evoke just the opposite. Read more
Published on 10 May 2010 by Bart
1.0 out of 5 stars Simply awful
The cinematography was nothing short of horrid. I don't understand why extreme wide screen was used, especially when most shots screamed out for vertical(!) compositions. Read more
Published on 16 Jan 2009 by Ornello
2.0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece for insomniacs
This film is art. Each scene looks like a painting - there's one which is of a farm in a desert which looks more like a painting than footage of real life. Read more
Published on 9 Sep 2008 by A. Martin
4.0 out of 5 stars Ravishing photography, langorous pace
This is a visual experience rather than an auditory one. The photography and framing of shots is stunningly beautiful. Read more
Published on 7 Aug 2008 by Bluebell
4.0 out of 5 stars an unfamiliar tribe
Johan belongs to the traditional, deeply religious Mennonite community in north Mexico. A happily married family man, he violates the ethos of the community by falling in love with... Read more
Published on 5 Jun 2008 by P. C. Reynell
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