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Released 27 July 2012
Director Pat Collins
Starring Eoghan Mac Giolla Bhríde

Pat Collins, Eoghan Mac Giolla Bhríde, Sharon Whooley
Producer(s) Tina Moran
Origin Ireland, Germany
Running Time 87 minutes
Genre Drama
Rating G

Silence is not golden.

What was the thought process behind making this film? “It's art” is the response I'll get from different circles trying to justify its existence. Okay, it may be art but just because it is labelled with such a small but influential word does not mean that it is any good. Silence suffers from its desperation to be something different, something “out there”, and there's no point in sugar-coating it in any other way, it is simply awful.

Eoghan has returned to Ireland for the first time in fifteen years to record places free from man-made sound for a job he has received. A recluse who in some ways is lonely but in many others simply feels most comfortable in his own company, Eoghan's journey takes him back to his childhood years growing up in rural Ireland. His quest for silence and a few fleeting conversations with locals reveal a lot has changed during his time away.

Let's get one thing straight – not much happens in this film. As slow-burners go, the ashes from one of Eoghan's campfires are still probably smouldering in some secluded forest in north west Donegal. Interaction between Eoghan and other characters is few and far between. Of course, this is the point but it means that there are severely long sequences where enjoyment is left to the eye of the beholder. While the pictures of the countryside are wondrous, showing off every inch of Ireland's beauty, the substance is overwhelmingly dreary.

The deeper I got into the storyline the more I felt it would have been better suited to a radio film instead. The integral use of sound to convey meaning would have resonated better with only the ear rather than the eye in use as well, encouraging greater imagination. On screen, there is no escaping the fact that nothing is happening and, in the end, boredom is the paralysing emotion. The irony is that Eoghan's recordings will probably air on radio in some shape or form.

Struggling to find anything good to say about Silence, I'd stay well clear unless you're in a reflective mood and want to mentally escape from the hustle and bustle of a more modern, urban life.

- David Caulfield