Review: ‘Night of Silence’

'Night of Silence'

A rural Anatolian spin on the story of Scheherazade, the protag from "1001 Nights" who tries to ward off the impending violence of her new husband, "Night of Silence" is a riveting chamber drama that should further consolidate the reputation of Turkish helmer Reis Celik.

A rural Anatolian spin on the story of Scheherazade, the protag from “1001 Nights” who tries to ward off the impending violence of her new husband, “Night of Silence” is a riveting chamber drama that should further consolidate the reputation of Turkish helmer Reis Celik. Though made on a small budget and, after an elaborate wedding-feast prologue, set entirely inside a bridal chamber, this well-acted, expertly written tale keeps auds hooked with storytelling acumen. Its Berlinale Crystal Bear win will help it get noticed offshore.

Again echoing the helmer’s preoccupations with ethnic, rural and folkloric themes, seen in pics such as “Tales of Intransigence,” Celik zooms in on a veiled, heart-stoppingly beautiful 13-year-old bride (Dilan Aksut) and her middle-aged groom (Ilyas Salman), who, um, isn’t exactly sexiest-man-alive material. The young child is worried sick about the requirement to soil the bridal bedsheet as proof of their marriage’s consummation, and keeps her hubby distracted throughout the night with tales and questions, until the tables start to turn and her gentlemanly hubby also seems scared. Changing camera setups keep things from becoming too monotonous visually; lack of score ups the verite factor.

Night of Silence

Turkey

Production

A Kaz Fim production. Produced by Israfil Parlak, Ekrem Celik. Directed, written, edited by Reis Celik.

Crew

Camera (color, widescreen, HD), Gokhan Tiryaki; art director, Burcu Karakas. Reviewed at Berlin Film Festival (Generation 14 Plus), Feb. 12, 2012. Running time: 92 MIN.

With

Ilyas Salman, Dilan Aksut, Mayseker Yucel, Sabri Tutal, Sercan Demirkaya, Ahmet Aydin.

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