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Silent Roar by Johnny Barrington

Last updated on September 30, 2023

A film by Johnny Barrington

With: Louis McCartney, Ella Lily Hyland, Mark Lockyer, Chinenye Ezeudu, Fiona Bell, Anders Hayward, Gary Lamont, Victoria Balnaves, Barbara Probst, Pablo Raybould

Dondo is a young surfer. His fisherman dad Willy disappeared a year ago. No sign of his boat, nor his body. Dondo’s mother and the community know Willy has not survived a year in the Atlantic. But Dondo thinks differently.

Our rate: ***

A touching film about a teenager on the margins, the inner images that overwhelm him, his attempt to re-enter the world. The film stands out for the way it looks at things, for what it questions, for what it stages, and also for its slightly offbeat approach. It depicts the Scottish hinterland, its inhabitants, and the relationship with faith, which is crumbling but remains one of the only bonds. He also depicts the call of the sea, the swan song, mental illness, the tumult of adolescent thought, which resembles this restless sea, fascinating and dangerous all at once. Independent, singular, even if imperfect, this Silent Roar reaffirms cinema’s power to show the unspeakable, to hide it, and to suggest it poetically.

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