Silent souls

Silent souls

DVD - 2011 | Russian
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Tough guy Miron asks taciturn writer Aist to accompany him on a long journey to dispose of his dead wife's remains according to the rituals of the Merya people, an ancient tribe from picturesque West-Central Russia. As the two friends traverse the evocatively bleak landscape with her body and a pair of caged birds, Miron fills the hours relating the most intimate details of his marriage.
Publisher: [United States] : Zeitgeist Films, [2011]
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (75 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in


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Dec 29, 2017

An artsy fartsy drama about a tradition funeral in Russia. I liked it but it is rather slow moving & not for the crowd that like action movies. I give it four & a half stars. A drama told in narrative form with a dark ending.

Jan 11, 2017

Some critic calls this a "beautiful road trip." I don't think so.
WArning: contains spoilers!!

The silent soul of the title is a deceased woman -- recalled in flashbacks -- who uncomplainingly accepts her husband's "love". Says the husband, "I used all her holes."

In addition, she was in love with her husband's friend
, who accompanies him to dispose of her remains. He says he knew about her being attracted to his friend, but he could not be angry at her. How magnanimous!p

After cremating her, they take up with two prostitutes to forget their sorrow. And the narrator says something to the effect that women are a river by which they return to themselves. Oh, brother!

As they return to their town, their car rolls off the bridge and they drown. Who cares?

For ms_mustard: it is precisely the woman's quiescence and the general machismo which made this film so hateful to me.

Oct 16, 2015

3 Stars from me, interesting culture & treatment of death customs. Slow, rather lengthy subtitles helped although often too quick on the screen for me. I was slow to 'catch on' & not anything I expected. Beautiful in parts and oh so bleak... thankful for where I live.

Oct 10, 2015

This is an astonishingly beautiful film about funeral rituals and the meaning of love. Slow-moving yet fascinating and compelling--each shot is nourishingly beautiful. Five stars.

Sep 14, 2015

Told in a first person narrative, this contemporary Russian film is about life, death, and love. It takes on the form of a road trip, and some camera takes can be long. So the pace is very slow, and dialogues were sparse. Exposure to an ethnic group in Russia and how they treat the dead is an interesting diversion. It is an excellent film, and I highly recommend it to fans of international cinema.

Oct 19, 2014

Definitely has anthropological value in representing some very strange customs of a Russian minority group, for instance the utterly unsensual and unromantic washing of the bride by the husband with ample amounts of... vodka. Despite the languid cinematography, it's a bleak and austere film. I also found it frustrating to observe the miserable and silent place women given to women in the film.

voisjoe1 Jul 05, 2014

Ebert gave this 4 out of 4 and Ozu's World gave it an A-. This was basically how an ancient ethnic group of Russians say goodbye to their deceased loved ones. Maybe I am not smart enough to understand how this should receive 5 or 4.5 stars. Interesting, yet not interesting film for me.

Glencoe_Mike Jan 06, 2014

Relatively enjoyable look at an obscure culture.

Jan 01, 2014

lyrical road trip to honour by ancient custom the death of a woman loved by 2 men. rivers are a force in life and in death. I found the film touching - but disturbing in its singular portrayal of the woman as an object of her husband's lust showing no personality of her own.

Jul 08, 2013

Interesting people (Merya or Volga Finns,) and their burial customs. A well done adaptation of a sad story.


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