Na­ture’s way

SILENT LIGHT/STEL­LET LICHT

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Film Reviews - DON­ALD CLARKE

Di­rected by Car­los Rey­gadas. Club, IFI, Dublin, 127 min

TO THIS point, the jury has been out on Car­los Rey­gadas. Japón, the first film from the young Mex­i­can, con­tained bravura se­quences but seemed a lit­tle too in love with An­drei Tarkovsky to mark out unique ter­ri­tory. For all its bril­liant fury, the weird Bat­tle in Heaven was al­ways doomed to gag on its own gal­lop­ing pre­ten­tious­ness.

Hap­pily, Silent Light, a lu­mi­nous, stub­bornly un­hur­ried drama de­tail­ing an adul­ter­ous ro­mance among the Men­non­ite com­mu­nity of rural Mex­ico, con­firms Rey­gadas as an enor­mously gifted di­rec­tor.

This strange film, fea­tur­ing mostly non-pro­fes­sional ac­tors, re­quires pa­tience and emo­tional in­vest­ment. The stud­ied tableaux and hes­i­tant di­a­logue are, in their way, as anti-nat­u­ral­is­tic as the rac­ing fire­balls in a Jerry Bruck­heimer thriller. But from a stun­ning open­ing scene de­pict­ing dawn skulk­ing over the plains, the pic­ture ex­erts a dis­qui­et­ing grip on the viewer. Don’t miss its brief visit to the IFI.

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