Ukraine, October 1941. A group of German soldiers find themselves in the most precarious of situations, lost in the confines of a small village fleeced in snow, capturing the sharp frostiness of their innermost anxieties. Separated from their company during battle, the men have no choice but to recuperate behind enemy lines. With a poetic irony, however, they find themselves aided by the enemy, who consider the soldiers to be “liberators.” Yet as friendships so very closely form, an overpowering hostility emits itself into the air, leading to a series of visceral events which bring the film to a bitterly nihilistic final act.
With a cinematic style not dissimilar from an array films set in the Nazi occupation of Europe, Ed Ehrenberg’s Hear the Silence – otherwise known as Höre die Stille – is as original as it is a powerful piece of independent filmmaking. Though the film does take a somewhat gradual start, forgiveness can be found in its pleasing aesthetic value; this graduality further justified by the fact that it leads to the morally charged, harrowing narrative of Hear the Silence’s latter half. The sheer brilliance demonstrated in the final half of the film is perhaps best illustrated by Hear the Silence being nominated for Best Feature Film at Indie-Lincs 2017, and for very good reason too.
Indeed, films such as Hear the Silence have a tale to tell about WWII and the Nazi occupation, but they are certainly not lost in translation in our current day and age. As publics in Western society become ever divided in political upheavals – as persons become defined by their stances as opposed to their hearts and minds – the film offers a nihilistic window into our lives, filtered through a time and location that seems almost incomprehensible. The message is quite clear, presented in a film that depicts brutality in the most goreless of ways. Being screened on Saturday 18th March at 12.45pm, Hear the Silence is not to be missed.
Written by Daniel Sheppard