Tahmineh Normatova, Nadereh Abdelahyeva, Golbibi Ziadolahyeva,
Tajikistan provides the setting of Makhmalbaf’s lyrical fable about a young blind boy and the acute sense of hearing that both connects him to—and liberates him from—the realities around him. Poised as if floating slightly above the earthbound individuals alongside him, the ethereal Korshid seeks attunement to everyday harmonies, though the discords of unemployment, poverty, and fanaticism remain omnipresent. “I am moving away from a political cinema towards a more poetic cinema,” Makhmalbaf declared; Silence finds beauty not in words and discourse, but in sounds, colors, and movement. “Not since Paradjanov has a director so beautifully fragmented his storytelling imagery,” noted Harlan Kennedy in Film Comment. “Makhmalbaf’s jewelled, jigsaw style . . . creates a world iconized to the point of holiness.” Silence was the first film Makhmalbaf made in collaboration with his family under the auspices of the Makhmalbaf Film House.