The Silence(2010) is a thrilling neo noir from Germany directed and written for the screen by Baran bo Odar. This is based on a book by Jan Costin Wagner. In traditional noir fashion this film starts out with a grim scene that has happened in the past. We than flash forward 23 years where the exact same crime has been committed again. The movie continues to bounce back and forth between the two-time periods to clear up some questions, but leaves us asking more questions in this interesting story of past guilty and differing shades of evil.
We start out with a young girl riding her bike down a country road as two strangers played by Wotan Wilke Möhring and Ulrich Thomsen follow her. Thomsen gets out of the car and chases her down as Möhring watches on from the car. Things don’t just go to far here, they go way to far as the young girl is killed. Möhring helps his friend dispose of the body and we flash forward 23 years. When another young girl goes missing and they find her bike in the same field as the previous crime a retired detective played by Burghart Klaußner thinks it is the same man. He teams up with the current detective on the case played by Sebastian Blomberg. Will our duo solve both crimes? Are both crimes committed by the same people? How has the original murderer and his accomplice not been caught in the last 23 years. How does this crime affect the people in this town?
This film covers some dark material, from pedophiles to child pornography to serial killing. I do have to say this is done in classic film noir style in the way the grotesque is implied and not put on the screen to shock like most modern films. The story is very complex and you will be left with questions at the end, just like a real life case. This film is German, but could have easily taken place in any rural town. I really enjoyed this film and think most noir fans will too. If you are questioning whether you should watch this do to some of its subject matter, I encourage you to give it a try. Like I said this film is not in your face or over the top with shocking scenes, but is an interesting look at a subject way to prevalent in society today.