Silent Light

Carlos Reygadas' Silent Light (2007) is an absorbing study of faith and belief, challenged and stretched almost to the breaking point by the human relations it depicts. Set in a Mennonite community in Mexico, it tells a story of infidelity and its consequences in intimate detail, with muted colors, all carefully shaded -- the slow, gradual transition of...read more

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Reviewed by Bruce Eder
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Carlos Reygadas' Silent Light (2007) is an absorbing study of faith and belief, challenged and stretched almost to the breaking point by the human relations it depicts. Set in a Mennonite community in Mexico, it tells a story of infidelity and its consequences in intimate detail, with muted colors, all carefully shaded -- the slow, gradual transition of shadows across Reygadas' widescreen (2.35-to-1) image seems to reflect the pace of life among his subjects, a people whose devotion to and belief in God, if one is to absorb the events depicted, can allow them to transcend even the most personal betrayal and (seemingly) the most dire of consequences that stem from it. From the opening shot, a six-minute-plus transition from night into day across the sky, Reygadas seems prepared to take his time telling his story, and he has the cast to do it with, led by Cornelio Wall Fehr and Miriam Toews as a husband and wife whose marriage is jeopardized by his faithlessness -- their performances, and their interactions with the rest of the cast, are so note-perfect that you forget it's a scripted film you're watching, and almost find yourself feeling guilty for intruding upon a family's daily life. This is verisimilitude on an uncanny level, and coupled with the director's unforced storytelling, yields a hypnotic result for the viewer. You never lose sight of the struggle that these characters are engaged in to sustain their faith, and it is this dramatic component that drives the story forward, maintaining interest across 144 minutes to a visually startling, spiritually rewarding denouement that carries us back to a point recalling that glorious opening.

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  • Released: 2007
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Carlos Reygadas' Silent Light (2007) is an absorbing study of faith and belief, challenged and stretched almost to the breaking point by the human relations it depicts. Set in a Mennonite community in Mexico, it tells a story of infidelity and its conseque… (more)

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