The short films series connected by a common title and subject represents a pleasant diversification of the Docalliancefilms program. Students of the Andrzej Wajda film school who created the individual films all got the same task: to represent “silence.”
Such thematic units are usually quite popular among viewers as they promise the excitement of revealing how the authors coped with the given theme. At the same time, the motive of a task usually inspires the viewers to reflect on what their own response to such a challenge would be.
Regarding the fact that Silence is a student film series, one would expect that such comparison and revealing would be more satisfactory than the short films themselves. However, that is not always the case. As typical of student films, those with an original story or a surprising point tend to be more interesting than those based primarily on creating an atmosphere, which is hard to achieve in the short film format. It is frequently those films that go against our expectations that capture us most. As for this series, it is for example the film that shows us that films about silence do not necessarily require silence; and that silence will be “heard” most at moments when it should not be. Like in the first film of the first series. Screaming and yelling are expected at the delivery room; that is why when silence is heard at a wrong moment instead of a child screaming, it instantly pulls us into a highly dramatic situation.
Another very original approach to the theme is shown in the first film of the third series. At the beginning of the film, the student tells about his task to his grandmother, letting her think aloud on the camera about how to present silence. The film becomes a fragile, delicate portrait of a woman who, though not being silent but talking, herself takes up the form of what is associated with silence in our minds - softness, calm, dignity and concentration.
Doc Alliance is a creative partnership of 7 key European documentary film festivals. Our aim is to advance the documentary genre, support its diversity and promote quality creative documentary films.