length experimental fiction film by Sonja Wyss
with Gerda Zangger, Sandra Utzinger, Brigitta Weber, Katalin Liptak, Sarah Bühlmann
a snowed-in log cabin, a widow lives with her four grown-up daughters, all with
their own desires for love and intimacy. The strong Catholic faith and their
mourning that has tormented them for years has condemned them to a life of
chastity. Mysterious deer-men change their existence.
Sonja Wyss is from Switzerland but has already lived in Holland for more than 15 years. She is visual artist and makes video films and installations. Her video film Grüezi wohl Frau Stirnimaa was selected in 2000 for Quinzaine des Realisateurs in Cannes.
WINTER SILENCE was shot in in February 2008. Director Sonja Wyss describes her experiences as follows:
"With the realisation of Winter Silence a whole new world opened for me. Until now I made my video's almost exclusively alone. Now I was being introduced to people who would work with me on my film. The tasks were divided. What a luxury it is to be able to work with so many professional and enthousiastic people!
It took some time getting used to after so many years spent brooding on the project. And now suddenly having to shoot every detail, which was given so much attention in conjuring up, placing, shuffling, and changing again, in such a high tempo. In situations which were not the way I thought they would be, locations of my fantasy which could not be found, etc. Or plainly: definitely realising the images that I had in my head. Fantasy was now reality. The shooting period was nonetheless a dream which was being realised. Some people claim that it is better for dreams to remain dreams than that they become reality. In this case I do not agree. It was and is still terrific to see my story becoming reality. Sometimes magical moments occured during shooting, where we, the crew, were spectators astonishedly looking at what was unfolding before the camera. I found working with actors fantastic. I would have wanted to work with them longer to discover how their film characters would develop further.
Also working with so many people was completely new to me. It has left me with a largely positive feeling. It is so inspiring and efficient to work and make things with others, which you just can not do by yourself, that I hope to be able to make another film project in the future."
scenario & director: Sonja Wyss
camera: Peter Brugman
sound: Gijs Stolmann
light: Nicholas Burrough
editing: Katarina Türler
sound design: Huibert Boon, Alex Booij & Robil Rahantoeknam
music: Wise Man's Child
production manager: Ben Bouwmeester
producer: Digna Sinke
the film is financially supported by:
Dutch Film Fund - Mondriaan Stichting
as part of The Imagination
The jury of the Netherlands Film Festival 2008 has awarded Huibert Boon, Alex Booij and Robil Rahantoeknam with a Golden Calf for their sound design of WINTER SILENCE.
the jury report:
When many things say little, few things say much more. The illusion of silence can be given shape in many ways and sound is therein an essential part. In Winter Silence it is this combination of silence and form, which makes the film an almost poetic experience. Stunning.
- "Striking images of a hard-edged brilliance are reason to see
video artist Sonja Wyss' feature debut, composed of often-dazzling tableux in an isolated Swiss village suspended in time."
Cineuropa - “Top-notch cinematography and sound", "a full-blooded cinematic experience"