9-February-2010: Stille Liebe/Amour Secret [ NON-USA FORMAT, PAL, Reg.2 Import - Germany ]
My friends from Germany gives me this DVD, so I get around to watch this. It is a Germany-released movie. based on true story of young Deaf woman who grew up in Switzerland.
Shot in beautiful Switzerland, Stille Liebe tells the story of Antonia (Emmanuelle Laborit), a deaf nun who meets Mikas, a deaf pick-pocket while travelling to the homeless shelter where she assists in the kitchen. At the beginning, she felt comfortable in these surroundings at the Convent where the sisters take the vow of silence, but as she's grown older she begins to wonder if she made the right choice. Among some of the other characters is Mother Superior Verena (Renate Becker); a wonderfully loving, yet very disciplined woman who takes Antonia under her wing in the Convent.
A new exciting world opens up for Antonia because, like herself, Mikas is also deaf. These two people, so different from each other, are able to converse in their common language – sign language. Antonia's relationship builds with Mikas to a point where she is torn between her faith and the man she has fallen in love with. However, what Antonia is not aware of is that Mikas is only pretending to be a circus artist and has in fact come to Switzerland to make some ready cash as a pickpocket. Unfortunately, their affair comes to an abrupt end when Mikas loses his life in an altercation with the police. Shattered by that experience and what she went through with Mikas, it has had a deep effect on her and she now has the feeling that the world has once and for all opened up for her too. Antonia decides to sever her ties with Verena and the convent and travels to the United States, where she applies to study at Gallaudet University, an internationally renowned college for the deaf where she resolves to start a new life among others like herself and pursues her dream at last.
In summary, Antonia yearns for one thing – discover inner happiness. She wants to lead the sort of life that she hasn't been allowed to up until now, or a life she hasn't allowed herself to lead. She does not fit in the place where she is. Therefore, love arouses this interest in her and gives her the courage to make a complete break in her life. Although Antonia’s relationship with Mikas ends in tragedy, it doesn’t stop her from taking her life into her own hands. You can, perhaps, say that true love is really only true if it becomes the cause of something and when things happen as a result ...
Co-written by director Christoph Schaub, this film is unique in the way it portrays a deaf character. Of course, the usual communication issues exist for a deaf person, but we see more of need and desire to be among people who are similar. The communication issues can be resolved on the most cases, but the desire to be among your own people, people who are like you, people who don't have the need for things to be explained to them... this is what really drives Antonia in the decisions she makes throughout the film.
I am perplexed as Antonia’s decision when Mikas’ life was in dire, but I am going to let go at it. I am a bit taken aback from Antonia’s comments about moral to use the stolen money which she, herself, uses it to create a new life for herself. Guess she feels that it is her one-way ticket out of her old life with good intention. One small thing is that the sign language in the film is mostly IS – International Signs. In Switzerland, the Deaf people use DSGS – Switzerland Sign Language – which is not portrayed in the movie. Same goes for Lithuanian Sign Language. The movie is produced by Germany, so DGS – German Sign Language – is utilized most of time in the movie. However, I thoroughly enjoyed this film. (****)