French theatrical poster
|Directed by||Carlos Reygadas|
|Produced by||Carlos Reygadas
|Written by||Carlos Reygadas|
|Editing by||Natalia López|
|Distributed by||Palisades Tartan
|Running time||127 minutes|
Silent Light (Plautdietsch: Stellet Lijcht; Spanish: Luz silenciosa) is a 2007 film written and directed by Mexican filmmaker Carlos Reygadas. Filmed in a Mennonite colony close to Cuauhtémoc, Chihuahua State, Northern Mexico, Silent Light is set in a Mennonite community and tells the story of a married man who falls in love with another woman. The dialogue is in Plautdietsch, the language of the low-German Mennonites.
Carlos Reygadas's films are known for their long sequences, slow rhythm, and use of nonprofessional actors. All the performers in Silent Light are Mennonites from communities in Mexico, Germany and Canada. The film was an international co-production by companies from Mexico, France and the Netherlands. The film is in part based upon the 1955 film Ordet by Danish filmmaker Carl Theodor Dreyer, which also features quiet pastoral farm scenes, ticking clocks, intentionally slow pacing, stretches of silence, wind in fields of grain, similarly named central characters (Johan and Johannes respectively), a focus on a large farm family and their home, a protagonist questioning the strict piety of his minister father, the death of this protagonist's wife in seeming connection with her husband's impiety, and, most saliently, her mysterious resurrection from the dead as brought about by a kiss. It is not a strict remake of Ordet however, as there are numerous and substantive differences in plot, most notably the absence, in Silent Light, of a character central to Ordet: the prophetic mystic son who appears to be insane.
The film received a positive response from many critics. The Time magazine reviewer wrote that "All the scenes shine with a visual and emotional brilliance". Manohla Dargis of The New York Times called the film "an apparently simple story about forgiving" in which "the images are of extraordinary beauty", and said that "The characters seem to be illuminated from the inside." The reviewer of Le Monde wrote that "Reygadas's genius makes every moment sacred." The magazine Sight & Sound rated it number 6 on their list of the top films of 2007. Roger Ebert named the film one of the top ten independent films of 2009 as well as one of the best films of the 2000s.
Top ten lists
The film appeared on several critics' top ten lists of the best films of 2008.
- 2nd - A. O. Scott, The New York Times
- 4th - Scott Foundas, LA Weekly
- 5th - Manohla Dargis, The New York Times
- 6th - David Ansen, Newsweek
- 6th - J. Hoberman, The Village Voice
Awards and nominations
- 2007 Cannes Film Festival – Jury Prize (Winner)
- 2007 Chicago International Film Festival – Gold Hugo (Winner)
- 2007 Huelva International Film Festival - Colón de Oro (Winner)
- 2007 Bergen International Film Festival - Norwegian Film Institute's Import Award (Winner)
- 2007 Stockholm International Film Festival - Best Script (Winner)
- 2007 Havana Film Festival - Grand Coral (Winner)
- "SILENT LIGHT previously at Film Forum in New York City". Filmforum.org. Retrieved 2010-12-12.
- "Jury Prize: "Persepolis" by Marjane Satrapi and to "Silent Light" by Carlos Reygadas". http://www.festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 07 October 2012.
- "The best films of 2009". Roger Ebert. Retrieved May 28, 2013.
- "The best films of the decade". Roger Ebert. Retrieved May 28, 2013.
- "Metacritic: 2008 Film Critic Top Ten Lists". Metacritic. Retrieved January 11, 2009.[dead link]
- "Festival de Cannes: Silent Light". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 2009-12-20.
- "Winners Announced at Huelva and Reel Asian Film Fests". blog.moviefone.com. Retrieved 12 December 2010.
- Official website
- Silent Light at allmovie
- Silent Light at the Internet Movie Database
- Silent Light at Metacritic
- Silent Light at Rotten Tomatoes
- Silent Light at the 2007 Toronto International Film Festival
- Plautdietsch-Freunde association
|Jury Prize, Cannes
tied with Persepolis