Silent Light

Silent Light

Carlos Reygadas (2007)

15 Certificate


Our Score
This sombre tale about the clash between religious duty and carnal desire was shot on location in Chihuahua, Mexico. It's set in the Mennonite community, a religious sect of Europeans whose flight from persecution led them to Canada in the 1800s, and then to Mexico in the 1920s. One of their present number is Johan (Cornelio Wall Fehr), whose illicit affair with Marianne (Maria Pankratz) is pushing his wife (Miriam Toews) and family towards crisis. As interested in the stately pace of life among the separatist Mennonite communities as Johan's understated crisis of conscience, Mexican film-maker Carlos Reygadas (Battle in Heaven, Japón) lets the drama inch forward at a funereal pace. The film demands patience and rewards with some beautiful moments, not least of all its opening, time-lapse shot of dawn gradually breaking. Yet although it's impossible not to be awed by the confidence of Reygadas's cinematic poetry, the film's pacing and overbearing stillness ultimately proves rather alienating.


A married man living in a strict religious community has a secret affair with a single woman. Although his religion forbids adultery, he finds himself unable to end the relationship - even after telling his wife the truth. However, when he eventually confesses to his father, he is accused of being under the influence of the Devil. Drama, starring Cornelio Wal, Miriam Toews, Maria Pankratz and Jacobo Klassen. In Low German, Spanish, French and English.

Cast & Crew

Johan Cornelio Wall Fehr
Esther Miriam Toews
Marianne Maria Pankratz
Father Peter Wall
Mother Elisabeth Fehr
Zacarias Jacobo Klassen
Director Carlos Reygadas
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Other Information

Language: German, French, Spanish +subtitlesColourTheatrical distributor: TartanGuidance: Sex scenes.Available on: DVDReleased on: 7 Dec 2007