Dir. Zdeněk Jiráský (84min, Slovak Republic/Czech Republic/Germany, 2014)
Czech and Slovak with English Subtitles
A vibrant, sound-rich and brilliant ode to the lives of Jewish musicians during the era of National Socialism in Slovakia, Czech Republic and Germany. In Silence is based on true stories of Alice Flachová, Karol Ebert, Edith Kraus, and Arthur Chitz. The film draws a sharp contrast between the protagonists’ carefree existence making music during the pre-war era and the subsequent upheaval brought on by the proliferation of Nazism.
Intended as a documentary, the director ultimately turned out a feature film of exceptional visual and emotional impact, examining an ostensibly exhausted cinematic theme with extraordinary originality and intensity.
His feature film debut Flower Buds (2011), shown in its international premiere in the East of the West competition at the Karovy Vary International Film Festival, won four Czech Lion awards, including Best Film and Best Director. He was also nominated by Czech film critics for direction, screenplay and discovery of the year. He then shot the docudrama The Jagiellon Dynasty (2012) and the short comedy Bridesmaid (2013) for Czech TV. In Silence is his second feature.
“This beautifully composed docu-musical pays tribute to Jewish musicians and performers persecuted by the Nazis during their wartime occupation of Central Europe.” -The Hollywood Reporter