A Question of Silence

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A Question of Silence
VHS cover
Directed by Marleen Gorris
Produced by Matthijs van Heijningen
Written by Marleen Gorris
Starring Edda Barends
Music by Lodewijk de Boer
Martijn Hasebos
Cinematography Frans Bromet
Edited by Hans van Dongen
Distributed by Quartet Films (USA)
Release date
18 February 1982
Running time
92 minutes
Country Netherlands
Language Dutch

A Question of Silence (Dutch: De stilte rond Christine M.) is a 1982 Dutch drama film written and directed by Marleen Gorris. It is Gorris' debut film. It stars Edda Barends as Christine M. The plot is about three women, are strangers to each other, who kill a man they do not know. It was highly controversial but also highly acclaimed at the time of its release, and is now hailed as a feminist classic.[1][2]


Housewife Christine M. tries to shoplift some merchandise from a boutique in a shopping mall but is caught by the male shopkeeper. Christine and two other customers, waitress Annie and secretary Anna, beat the man to death, witnessed by a large group of other female shoppers. They are tried with murder and deny the plea of insanity that the male prosecutor and judges assume they should plead. The female criminal psychiatrist assigned to ascertain their level of sanity comes to identify with the women's situations and concludes that they are not insane but have been driven to murder by the strain of living in a patriarchy.[3][4]



A Question of Silence was shown at the 1982 Toronto Festival of Festivals. That year it won the Grand Prix at the Créteil International Women's Film Festival and the Golden Calf at the Nederlands Film Festival.[5] The film had its 30th anniversary screening at the 2012 London Feminist Film Festival.[6]

  1. ^ Kamir, O. (2006). Framed: Women in Law and Film. Duke University Press. ISBN 9780822336242. Retrieved 2015-08-22. 
  2. ^ Birch, Helen (1996-09-18). "Over stepping the line". The Independent. Retrieved 2009-09-25. 
  3. ^ Maslin, Janet (1983-03-18). "SILENCE OF KILLERS". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-09-25. 
  4. ^ Erickson, Hal. "De Stilte Rond Christine M". Allmovie. Retrieved 2009-09-25. 
  5. ^ "Awards for Stilte rond Christine M., De". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2007-12-23. 
  6. ^ "Fri 30 Nov 6.30 PM: FEMINIST CLASSIC – A Question of Silence". London Feminist Film Festival. 2012-10-05. Retrieved 2017-03-24. 

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