SILENT LIGHT/STELLET LICHT
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.