Silent Souls

Silent Souls

When Miron’s beloved wife Tanya passes away, he asks his best friend Aist to help himsay goodbye to her according to the rituals of the Merja culture ... The two men set out on a road trip thousands of miles across the boundless lands. With them, two small birds in a cage. Along the way, as is custom for the Merjas, Miron shares intimate memories of his conjugal life. But as they reach the banks of the sacred lakewhere they will forever part with the body, he realizes he wasn’t the only one in love with Tanya. 3.7 out of 5 based on 13 reviews
Silent Souls

Omniscore:

Certificate
Genre Drama
Director Aleksei Fedorchenko
Cast Larisa Damaskina, Olga Dobrina, Yuliya Aug
Studio Artificial Eye
Release Date June 2012
Running Time 78 mins
 

When Miron’s beloved wife Tanya passes away, he asks his best friend Aist to help himsay goodbye to her according to the rituals of the Merja culture ... The two men set out on a road trip thousands of miles across the boundless lands. With them, two small birds in a cage. Along the way, as is custom for the Merjas, Miron shares intimate memories of his conjugal life. But as they reach the banks of the sacred lakewhere they will forever part with the body, he realizes he wasn’t the only one in love with Tanya.

Reviews

Empire Magazine

David Parkinson

A beautiful piece of work: heart-wrending, atmospheric and truly poignant.

19/06/2012

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The Evening Standard

Derek Malcolm

Don’t miss it. It is an hour-plus of pure poetry and certainly one of the best Russian films of recent years.

22/06/2012

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The Financial Times

Nigel Andrews

Throughout the movie, exquisitely played and paced, and scored for eerie-elemental music, we feel we are in the power of some mad foreign storyteller at a party, whose tales we never quite believe but never want to leave either. Pass us another vodka. Let’s hear another Merjan story ...

21/06/2012

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The Guardian

Peter Bradshaw

It combines sadness with a really gamey sexiness and quasi-necrophile rapture: a drama set in west central Russia, among the ethnic Meryan community who trace their origins to Finland. There is a shimmer of unreality; perhaps it is magic unrealism.

21/06/2012

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The Independent

Anthony Quinn

Nothing much happens, except in the melancholy realm of feeling and implication: we have witnessed not just a funeral but a way of life fading out.

22/06/2012

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Screen

Lee Marshall

Along the way it becomes clear that Aist and Tanya had some sort of fling or affair, and that Miron’s choice of Aist as his road-trip partner was perhaps not entirely casual. But this sounds like a set-up for a thriller or at least a dramatic stand-off, and one of the charming, surprising things about the film is that its elegaic, dreamlike tone is never upset by such obvious scriptwriting temptations, even while scraps of backstory, and moments of male tension, are allowed to emerge.

05/09/2010

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The Daily Telegraph

Robbie Collin

Fedorchenko’s crisp, beautiful film ponders the oddness and necessity of the folk rites in which we all seek solace. Its original title is Ovsyanki, or Buntings, after the songbirds Aist keeps in his car; drab creatures compelled by instinct to sing strange and beautiful songs.

22/06/2012

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Time Out

Cath Clarke

In another film, we’d expect those two caged finches to be set free at a metaphorically divine moment. Not this pair; they have a macabre Hitchcockian agenda. So, if we’re meant to find any symbolism in these stout, unlovely birds, it’s perhaps that there is wonder to be found in even the most ordinary of creatures.

20/06/2012

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The Times

Kate Muir

A contemplative, otherworldly gem from Russia.

22/06/2012

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The Independent on Sunday

Nicholas Barber

Succeeds both as tender lament for departed loved ones and cultures, and as mischievous comedy on the same subject.

24/06/2012

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The Observer

Mark Kermode

Boasting a straight-faced sexual frankness that veers between engaging and gross, this strange pre-Slavic requiem is full of striking visual images and fragmentary half-truths.

24/06/2012

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Total Film

Simon Kinnear

A poetic elegy to a lost tribe that conjures up the Meryans’ secret lifestyle via surreal rituals and stunning widescreen visuals, although an over-explained voiceover and clunky symbolism sometimes weaken the spell.

14/06/2012

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The Sunday Times

Olly Richards

Fedorchenko approaches all the big issues, but doesn’t have much to say, and his languorous takes give us too long to contemplate the little he’s offering.

24/06/2012

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