Prolific Cork-based documentarian Pat Collins possesses a restless curiosity, coupled with a poetic eye for the small moments – something that informs this feature debut, of sorts. We say ‘of sorts’ because Silence boldly defies categorisation at every turn. The film has been described as both meditation and odyssey, tracing the psycho-geographical journey undertaken by an enigmatic soundman (writer and co-scenarist Eoghan Mac Giolla Bhríde) from his adopted city of Berlin to his native Donegal. His undertaking is to aurally document landscapes free from man-made noise – a journey that ultimately leads our protagonist inwards, as he finds himself drawn to his childhood home.
Navigating a unique path betwixt fiction and documentary, this film is by turns haunting and utterly beguiling; reference points might include Kiarostami, Apichatpong and Terrence Malick. Ultimately, however, this is unlike anything else you’ll see this year – a deeply immersive experience from a major Irish filmmaker whose earlier work will be shown in the IFI’s August programme. (Notes by Derek O’Connor.)
The IFI's season, Poetic Truths: The Cinema of Pat Collins, takes place from August 4th to 21st.