Director: Sonja Wyss | 70 minutes | drama | Actors: Gerda Zangger, Sandra Utzinger, Brigitta Weber, Katalin Liptak, Sarah Bühlmann, Werner Imnhoff, Tobias Perren, Eleonore Jensch, Claude Imahorn, Alwin Sarbach
The atmosphere in “Winter Silence” is cold and quiet. The beautiful snow-covered Swiss landscapes appeal to the imagination. There is no talking in this film by Sonja Wyss, originally from Switzerland. The atmosphere and symbolism should speak for themselves. And they do, words are unnecessary. Synchrony is an important theme in this movie. The four young girls who have lost their fathers go about their daily activities as they always do: evenly. As if they hear a certain music and knead the dough to the beat of the music, and roll up the yarn. Beautifully played by these four actresses, but above all very well directed and beautifully filmed. The girls were raised so Catholic, the only times we hear their voices are when they are praying or singing. The love for the sisters among themselves is very strong and that helps them to cope with the grief of their deceased father. The atmosphere in the house also changes after the death of the father. They continue their daily routine, in the same rhythm, but there seems to be some kind of tension in the air, caused by the deer. The girls turn out not to be as good and Catholic as they seem at first glance.
There is a lot of symbolism in the movie. The owl, recognizable to the family only by the hairballs it spits out, represents wisdom. And there is a jester, who is always on screen, but who is invisible to the characters in the film. The great thing about symbolism is that the director does have meaning with these images, but that the viewers can also interpret them as they wish. Sonja Wyss has delivered with “Winter Silence” a true work of art with beautiful landscapes in the snow and beautiful symbolism. The feeling that arises after this film is a bit mixed. It is not spoken, the images are so synchronous and rhythmic that the word “boring” is quickly mentioned. Still, “Winter Silence” isn’t boring, it’s just a movie that needs to be talked about and you need to know more about before you can appreciate it.