LFFF: A Question of Silence


Netherlands 1982, 92 mins
Director: Marleen Gorris
Starring: Henriëtte Tol, Edda Barends, Nelly Frijda, Cox Habbema

Plus panel discussion

A special 30th anniversary screening of A QUESTION OF SILENCE by Marleen Gorris, who in 1996 became the first woman to direct a film that won an Oscar for Best Foreign Film (ANTONIA’S LINE). A QUESTION OF SILENCE is Gorris’ highly controversial debut film which became an instant feminist classic on its release. It won the Golden Calf at the Netherlands Film Festival and the Grand Prix at the Créteil International Women’s Film Festival in Paris (both in 1982). The film deals with a group of women who have never met before, but who together spontaneously murder a male shopkeeper. We follow a criminal psychiatrist’s interviews with the women to try to ascertain their sanity, and the ensuing court case, with surprising results. The film deals with women’s shared oppression under patriarchy and its effects. Thirty years on, A QUESTION OF SILENCE is a relevant, intriguing, and original piece of cinema.