‘Silence’ is a remarkable Irish movie about a sound recordist who returns to Ireland after 15 years to record soundscapes free from any man-made sound. As he does this, we are treated to a feast of visual and audio delights. The film is a slow, meditative piece, with minimal dialogue. I went into ‘Silence’ thinking it was a documentary, but left not knowing exactly what it is. It is, however, a stunning film. There are moments of breathtaking beauty as Eoghan journeys throughout Ireland looking for the elusive silence.
I’ve recently spent a few days off work and have done a bit of walking in some of the pockets of nature in Dublin city. When you live and work in the city centre you need to seek out and immerse yourself in whatever moments of silence you can. Whilst the places I visited are not as still or remote as the places ‘Silence’ take us, their proximity to the chaos of the inner city make their relative stillness all the more remarkable. Within a half hour of the heart of the city you can find yourself on a rocky outcrop overlooking a brilliant blue sea far below or wander through lesser known parts of our famous parks.
This is not escapism, however. I think finding moments and places of stillness and silence is like meditating – its benefits will be felt when you go back into the world with all its sound and fury. Going to these places is like visiting some kind of existential petrol station. I like to go, be still, and top up on the atmosphere, and try and take just a tiny bit of that back with me.
Silence is playing in the IFI.