TIFF 2021: “Silent Land”

Dobromir DymeckiAgnieszka Zulewska

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Ruben Östlund `s “Force Majeure” was one of the first films that showed us the true image of our selfishness. Nothing comes before our needs. What we want, what we should do or what should be done to us is the highest priority for us. Therefore, should we be surprised that we would rather become a bystander than bother ourselves doing something for someone in need when our need for us is everything?

Anna and Adam are a Polish couple on an Italian vacation, hoping to spend the most unforgettable times. They do everything together. They also like to get full service for the money they pay. When, upon their arrival, they realize the pool is empty and damaged, they asked the owner to fix it insisting that, “we booked this place because of the pool.” The owner agrees, asking for a few days. The two do not mind waiting. However, what they don’t know is an unpleasant surprise the pool is about to reveal about their inner world that will begin to come to light, and not in a pleasant way.

“Silent Land” is an exceptional character study of two people who thought they are well prepared for this life. Their arrogance and selfishness should not come as a surprise. When an Arab man named Rahim is hired to fix the pool, the two were satisfied because their demand was fulfilled. Of course, you would notice, rightfully though, why should not they get the pool fixed. They paid for it, after all. This is why Rahim is there. But when an accident occurs and Rahim dies in the pool, the question of morality will begin to rise, unfolding the most important question – what did Anna and Adam do when they saw him falling? Did they try to help him or let him die in the pool, waiting for the police or ambulance to get him out of it?

“Silent Land” is more about guilt, actions we take towards those we deem unsuitable or undeserving to get our attention. Director Aga Woszczyńska opens up the wounds of the rich and entitled people who would not dare get their hands dirty, even if those hands would save someone’s life. The closing scene could not get more perfect. In fact, it is the true definition of the title of the film, in which, Anna and Adam, together or separate, must live because of the choice they made.

This is why it’s important to make the right move, be nice and kind to others no matter what. If we pay someone to do a job for us, we should not exploit them. Because there is always karma waiting for us. Some wait longer; some less. What Anna and Adam did not know is that their karma was right around the corner waiting to hit them. And for that, they did not have to wait long.

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