Image from: Silent Youth (2012)

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Reviewed by Emily GB / Joined Emily 2015
Silent Youth
Silent Youth
Silent Youth
Germany, 2012, 73 minutes, SD Drama, LGBT, Arthouse
An incredibly moving, powerful film.  As the title implies, much of this film is understated and the dialogue is sparse but it has all the more impact for it.  This is a slow, quietly paced film and one to watch when you have time to focus and lose yourself in it fully.  The film touches on issues of loneliness, mental health, coming of age and sexuality. Homophobia and fear of putting your trust in someone else lingers throughout in the subtext, confronted head on at the outset when Kirill alludes to being the victim of a violent assault when he was in Russia.   As with all dialogue in this film, the reference is sparse and the incident isn't raised again.  Instead, the viewer's journey is similar to Marlo's.  Both have to learn to read Kirill with the little he discloses in mind in order to delve deeper into the character, which is layered, complex and never fully revealed.   The title is a clever one and indicative of how little the characters say to one another, but also how little they tell the viewer.  Silence pervades throughout the film and because so much is left unsaid, the viewer too is left with the feeling that there are stories we haven't yet been told. One of the reasons this film was so moving for me was I felt the connection between the two main leads Marlo (Bruchman) and Kirill (Mattes) in my bones. The long, lingering looks, the body language, the words left unsaid and then that kiss.  The aftermath of their first physical encounter and beautifully shot ending all made this a very satisfying, contemplative watch. 
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