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Silent Land – TIFF21

silent-land

Silent Land – TIFF21

Synopsis:
A perfect couple rents a holiday home on a sunny Italian island. The reality does not live up to their expectations when they find out that the pool in the house is broken. Ignorant of the fact that the island faces water shortage, they ask for someone to fix it. The constant presence of a stranger invades the couple’s idea of safety and starts a chain of events, which makes them act instinctively and irrationally, heading to the darkest place in their relationship.
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The horrible accident mars a Polish couple's Italian vacation in . Adam () and Anna (Agnieszka Zulewska) are a bourgeois Polish couple, who arrive at their vacation home near an Italian island town. One of the first things that the couple notices is that the house's pool is empty and their landlord Fabio () promptly sends over an Arab worker to fix the pool. However, the worker ends up slipping and falling into the pool, forming the first crack of what turns out to be a disastrous vacation.

Silent Land is the debut feature film from co-writer and director Agnieszka Woszczynska, which portrays the slow disintegration in the relationship between a vacationing Polish couple. All Adam and Anna want to do on their vacation is to relax by the pool during the day and have passionate sex at night. However, this all goes awry when the pool repairman dies in a horrible accident and the question arises whether the couple could have saved him. Anna's response is to befriend and take diving lessons from French couple Arnaud (Jean-Marc Barr) and Claire (), as Adam begins to experience guilt-ridden dreams and panic attacks.

Silent Land is a film that ends up being a very compelling character study about how this one horrible accident throws a wrench into this couple's vacation plans. I can almost argue the themes of Silent Land end up feeling similar to a film like Force Majeure, particularly in how Adam's relationship with Anna is greatly affected in the aftermath of the accident. There is also a level of dark humour in Silent Land, as the locals seem more concerned with keeping the tourism economy flowing, rather than truly investigate whether Adam and Adam are at fault for the accident.

Silent Land is screening as part of the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival


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Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly is a freelance film critic and blogger based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
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