Movie Review: The Silence (Das Letzte Schweigen)

The Silence

The Silence is American 2013 release of the German 2010 movie Das Letzte Schweigen. It is in German with English subtitles.

A psychological thriller and a murder mystery, The Silence starts out quite differently than many murder mysteries. In the first few minutes, the audience witnesses the crime, the rape and murder of Pia, an eleven-year-old girl on her way home on her bicycle. The mystery and tension is not about “who dunnit” but rather: “are they going to get away with it?”

Peer Sommer (Ulrich Thomsen) is the caretaker of an apartment complex in a rural town on southern Germany. He and his friend Timo (Wotan Wilke Moehring) have a macabre bond: they are secret budding pedophiles who connected by watching child porn together. On July 8, 1986, they go out for a drive, follow Pia onto a side road through a wheat field – where she find her death by the hands of Peer, while Timo silently witnesses the deed. The crime is never solved.

23 years later, on July 8, 2009, Sinikka, a thirteen-year-old girl is killed on the very same spot. Her bicycle is discarded exactly where Pia’s was found. The police cannot help but connect the two murders. The drama unfolds with the mother of Pia, who after 23 years is still grieving every day for her daughter, the original detective who could not solve the old crime, and a new crew of police staff who are working on trying to solve the mystery of the parallel crimes.

The Silence is a masterful movie that captures us in the first minute and does not let us go until the credits roll. It portrays the grief of parents losing their children to horrible crimes. It shows the stress and anguish of dedicated police staff who work tirelessly to find the solution to the puzzle. And it provides insight into the minds and motives of pedophiliac murderers, how they become what they are, and how they deal with their deeds afterwards.

The Silence is a sick and twisted story with a complex and surprising plot. I could not help by say “wow, that was excellent” when it was all done.

Rating: ****


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