THE END OF SILENCE
La fin du silence | by ROLAND EDZARD | Feature film | 2011 | France | 80 min | color
A violent quarrel bursts in a remote house in the Vosges mountains. On the first day, Jean, the younger son of the family, is thrown out of the house after a violent quarrel. He joins a group of hunters for a beat and learns how to kill. The following night, his mother’s car is torched. He is held responsible. Jean disappears into the forest…
Scriptwriter/Director: Roland Edzard
Original music: Christine Ott, with Christine Ott Quartet
Cinematographer: Frédéric Serve
Sound: Xavier Griette
Production designer: Olivier Meidinger
Editor: Thomas Marchand
Sound editors: Edouard Morin, Arnaud Rolland
Mix: Roman Dymny
Artistic Adviser: François Jenny
Cast: Franck Falise, Maia Morgenstern, Thierry Frémont, Carlo Brandt, Marianne Basler, Alexis Michalik, Anna Mihalcea
Producer: Philippe Avril
Production: Unlimited (France), in co-production with Les Films de l’Étranger, Galerie Heine, Dor Film, Poly Son Post-production, Swift Productions.
Supports: CNC, Région Alsace, Région Lorraine, Communauté urbaine de Strasbourg, Région Ile-de-France.
World premiere: Cannes, Directors' Fortnight, 2011
Special mention of the jury, Haifa International Film Festival, 2011.
Audience Award as best French-speaking film and Screenplay Award, Mons international Love Film Festival (Belgium), 2012.
Grand Jury Award, 2nd international ‘Crime and Punishment’ Film Festival (Istanbul, September 2012).
ABOUT THE MOVIE
Extremely physical violence, an oppressive atmosphere and a settling of family scores mark The End of Silence, the highly atmospheric first feature by Roland Edzard. Playing along the border between genre and auteur cinema, the film enters territory rarely visited in French films and seeks to subscribe to the line of titles that includes Deliverance by John Boorman (for its hunt and the tension-filled forests) or At Close Range by James Foley for the dangerous twilit family atmosphere. Suspense and a wintery immersion in the almost petrified forests of the Vosges mountain range are the setting for a sort of Greek tragedy in which fists and guns are the rule in a place of isolation where words are few and brutal.
The End of Silence is a gunshot, a curtain ripped aside revealing a family haunted by a past sin, cultivating the unspoken until the explosion. Impressive landscapes, a handsome mastery of the forest scenes and sequences of sudden spiralling violence, an elaborate sound design (birds, creaks, breath) and the music lend to the film an intriguing quality, and an ending that could be mistaken for that of a modern Western. Deep within France's heartland where one never speaks of the future, very little of the present and even loss so of the heavy past, and where the living conditions are precarious, youth, as incarnated by Jean and his brother Luc (biblical wink), has not finished atoning for the mistakes of their fathers, like a never ending curse.
(Fabien Lemercier, Cineuropa)