Silent Souls

Silent Souls ★★★★½

The December Project: Film #83

Now this, this is my kind of film. Detailing the post-mortem rituals of a forgotten Slavic race, Silent Souls follows a newly made widower and his friend as they obey custom and drive his wife's body to a ceremonial funeral pyre by the sea. Languidly paced and sparsely plotted, it's a magnificently minimalist work, its characters rarely speaking as they drive ever onward. Aleksei Fedorchenko needs not dialogue to tell this story: the faces of his performers do that; the landscapes they pass through; the stunning flashback scenes to lost love; the bravely quiet take on grief, silently sad but never sentimental.