List Film

Silent Souls (4 stars)

A beautiful, beguiling, dreamy and mystifying drama from director Aleksei Fedorchenko

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Silent Souls

Following the death of the beloved wife of his friend Miron, Aist joins the bereaved man on a trip to transport the dead woman from their small town to the shore of Lake Nero in western Russia, where her body is to be cremated. This, along with several other rituals performed en route, are the funeral customs of the Merja people, an ancient tribe Aist and Miron are descended from whose culture was assimilated into Russia’s in the 17th century. During the course of the journey, the two men recall various significant – and strange – moments of their past lives, which are shown in flashbacks. In one, Miron bathes his wife in a tub of vodka; in another, Aist, who narrates the film, recalls his father throwing a typewriter into a frozen lake.

Silent Souls, which was written by Denis Osokin and directed by Aleksei Fedorchenko (who has also contributed a segment to the anthology film The Fourth Dimension, which premieres at Edinburgh International Film Festival this month), is beautiful, beguiling, dreamy and mystifying. And quite unlike anything else. An unexpected cinematic treat.

Selected release from Fri 22 Jun.

Silent Souls (Ovsyanki)

  • 4 stars
  • 2010
  • Russia
  • 77 min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Aleksei Fedorchenko
  • Cast: Yuliya Aug, Larisa Damaskina, Olga Dobrina
  • UK release: 22 June 2012

Along with a companion, a man embarks on a journey to cremate his dead wife on the riverbank where they spent their honeymoon. Beguiling, dreamy and mystifying. And quite unlike anything else. An unexpected cinematic treat.

Elsewhere on the web

SILENT SOULS [trailer]. Pacific Meridian Film Festival 2010. Competition.

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