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This review originally appeared after the film screened at JDIFF 2012.

The sound of silence – ★★★

The latest offering from director Pat Collins is not so much a film about silence but more so the sound of silence.

It follows Eoghan (Eoghan Mac Giolla Bhríde) who travels up the west coast of Ireland with his final destination being his home on Tory island. He has been commissioned to record the sound of silence, or rather the sound of the world uninterrupted by man and machine. The piece, as to be expected, is very light on dialogue but this is really trying to explore and examine the many beautiful and varied landscapes in Ireland and the effect they can have on one’s life. There is also some excellent use of archive footage of Islanders from years ago and the use of Ordnance Survey maps to chart Eoghan’s route is very novel.

The director told us at the Q&A that he doesn’t understand why people are getting a documentary feel from the movie but I feel it does have elements of a documentary about it. The way in which Eoghan interacts with the people he meets doesn’t seem that natural and feels more like mini interviews than chats that have cropped out of nowhere, this is most evident when chatting to one of the island children “as Gaeilge”.

While certainly beautiful to watch and a fantastic exploration of sound, it can feel sometimes like a video piece for a gallery installation instead of the fictional film that the director was hoping to achieve.

Ireland  /  Directed By: Pat Collins  /  Written By: Pat Collins, Eoghan MacGiolla Bhríde, Sharon Whooley  /  Starring:  Eoghan MacGiolla Bhríde  /  84min  /   Release: July 27th 2012 (Ireland)