Land of Silence and Darkness

1971 [GERMAN]

Action / Documentary

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN

Top cast

720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
776.7 MB
German 2.0
24 fps
1 hr 24 min
P/S 0 / 1
1.41 GB
German 2.0
24 fps
1 hr 24 min
P/S 0 / 2

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by dbborroughs8 / 10


Story of Fini Straubinger who is "trapped" in her own body being both deaf and blind. Since the condition came on later in life she is able to speak and tells us what its like. We also watch as she goes around helping those like her. Communication is done via touching or writing on the hands. It becomes clear that the people in the film with this condition are trying to live full lives. An amazing film that shows us what its like not to be able to hear or see. Hopeful and yet unnerving-its not a state one really wants to contemplate having-its an important film since we see the world with a different set of eyes. Taking the matter even further Herzog and his crew also show us what its like for people born deaf and blind and how hard it is for them to even learn the basic things we take for granted. Moving. Haunting. Worth a look since it will make you reflect on how we get along.

Reviewed by Leofwine_draca8 / 10

Utterfly affecting

LAND OF SILENCE AND DARKNESS is an early documentary in the career of German film-maker Werner Herzog, a story laced with sadness and alienation that bears some stylistic similarity to Herzog's dramatic film THE ENIGMA OF KASPAR HAUSER. This one's all real though, a documentary that proves to be depressing and uplifting in equal measure.

It's a documentary that explores the world of deafblind people living in Germany, controlled by a campaigning woman, Fini Straubinger, who makes it her business to travel the country and help those in need. What transpires is a travelogue fraught with unforgettable moments; moments that I don't mind admitting had me in tears on more than one occasion. The sequence with a 22 year old man who's never had any education or even contact with the outside world - he can't even walk - is the film's moving highlight.

Herzog lets his story speak for himself, although he makes some strong choices as director. Visits to a cactus house and a zoo are utterly engrossing and the addition of some classic music to the soundtrack really helps to tug at the heartstrings. Not an easy film to watch then, but one which is nevertheless thoroughly compelling.

Reviewed by Horst_In_Translation8 / 10

Early Herzog masterpiece about the real miracle workers

Before you keep reading my review, will you do me a favor. Please shut your eyes and ears for a moment, then go to the fridge, get out something from it. Oh and don't forget washing your hands before that. Did you manage? Now imagine you'd have never seen your fridge in your life. Or heard the water during washing your hands. Or seen the way you went to doing these things. Then you'd roughly have the impression of what life must look like for the people in this 82-minute documentary. German filmmaker Werner Herzog was still in his 20s when he shot this movie here as it was done in 1971 and has its 45th anniversary already this year.

Herzog is known to enter worlds that only very few people have seen apart from him. This one is not about a volcano about to erupt on a deserted island, but about the world of silence and darkness, namely about people who are deaf and blind and have been that way for their entire life perhaps. They are certainly living in their own world. And it is a world that society knows about, acknowledges, but does not really want to be a part of. How many people do you know that are deaf and mute? How many people do your friends and family know? They exist, but we do not want to be concerned with them. You could almost say that we exist in a different dimension than they do. And that is why I love Herzog so much. Many people just would not want to get in contact with these people, not because they despise them, but because they wouldn't know how to act towards them. Herzog is not scared at all. He delivers a truly informative and (even more important) touching portrayal of these people. My favorite scene was probably the one with the disabled at the zoo. Could there have anything been better in this film? I really cannot think of anything. I personally love listening to Herzog's voice, but he did not act as narrator yet in his earliest works. Then again, Illig's narration was really not too frequent and that is perfect. In here they let the people tell the story, the people who deal with the blind-deaf on a daily basis. No scientist, no narrator could make more insightful comments on the matter than they could. An outstanding documentary by a brilliant filmmaker. What a year for Herzog. "Fata Morgana" is equally outstanding. Highly recommended and that goes for both documentaries.

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