Beyond Silence | Chicago Reader

Beyond Silence

Rated PG-13 107 minutes

Two commanding actresses (Tatjana Trieb and Sylvie Testud, who portray the same character as a child and a young woman) and some exquisite cinematography may compensate for the redundancy in this 1998 German feature about a girl living near Berlin who's pressured by her deaf parents to act as their interpreter. Her father, who wants to restrict her interests to those he can appreciate, also tries to discourage her from playing the clarinet, even though she's a prodigy. She confronts him about his selfishness in one scene after another, which may make this realistic but also makes it more frustrating than poignant. The movie's insights are persuasive, but they're all given at the outset, then reiterated until they become trite. Written by Beth Serlin and director Caroline Link. In German and sign language with subtitles.

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