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A man lives in isolation with his wife and four daughters in the snow-covered Swiss mountains. Catholicism and the belief in old legends permeate everyday life in their lonely mountain cabin. When the man dies in an accident, the women fall into a kind of hibernation and fantastic mythical characters come to life.

Winter Silence seems to be a film out of time. But the mother and her nearly grown daughters create their very own presence by means of a strictly ritualized daily routine. The camera captures them in stylised tableaux and choreographs harmonious gestures and movements: saying the rosary together, brushing each other's long hair and pinning it up into severe braids, rhythmically stitching in front of the warm fire. The film also plays with symbols and signs pointing to the impending end of this community of women. A knowing owl appears in the bedroom window, masked men wearing antlers come to the cabin at night, and a colorfully dressed figure wanders through the snow. We sense that the young women will soon leave the farm and seek out the rhythm of a life of their own.

Anke Leweke

Production: SNG Film, Amsterdam

Screenplay: Sonja Wyss

Camera: Peter Brugman

Cast: Gerda Zangger, Sandra Utzinger, Brigitta Weber, Katalin Liptak, Sarah Bühlmann, Eleonore Jensch, Werner Imhoff

Format: HDCam, Color

Running Time: 70 min.

Language: German

Foto: © Nicholas Burrogh

Funded by:

  • Logo Minister of State for Culture and the Media
  • Logo des Programms NeuStart Kultur