A Silence (2023) San Sebastian Film Festival 2023

September 24th, 2023
Author: Meredith Taylor

Dir: Joachim Lafosse | Daniel Auteuil, Emmanuelle Devos, Salome Dewaels, Matthieu Galoux | Drama 100’

Daniel Auteuil and Emmanuelle Devos star in this sober look at a family in crisis when a father is suspected of child pornography and his wife is left to pick up the pieces.

The sins of the father come back to bite prominent lawyer Maitre Schaar (Auteuil) in the French town of Metz where he has dabbled in child pornography forcing his wife Astrid (Schaar) into an untenable code of silence. But their teenage children Caroline (Salome Dewaels) and Raphael (Matthieu Galoux) are not of an age when they want answers and when other allegations start to emerge the truth can no longer stay hidden drawing proceedings to a devastating finale.

Joachim Lafosse – best known for award-winning films Our Children (2012) and After Love (2016) – is a master of atmosphere rather than plot-driven narratives, and his skill at creating a seething sense of disquiet comes into its own in the leafy suburbs of the Moselle city where the Schaar family endure a soul-searching daily existence in their plush mansion. And although Astrid (a dignified Devos) has done a good job of shielding her kids from the accusations, the family is clearly in disarray and Raphael, in particular, harbours a savage mistrust of his father and wants him to face formal justice after years of psychological trauma that started when the boy discovered incriminating videos on his father’s computer. A morose but thoughtful study in family dynamics in the face of dysfunction MT


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