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La voce del silenzio 1953
iMDB Rating: 7.4
Date Released : 1 April 1953
Genre : Drama
Stars : Aldo Fabrizi, Jean Marais, Daniel Gélin, Cosetta Greco. A group of men of differing circumstances and personalities gather at a monastery to undergo a course of spiritual reappraisal. They comprise of a candle-maker, a politician, an ex-prisoner, a novelist and a petty thief trying to elude the police. All have their own spiritual problems to solve, except the thief. The politician, a former partisan leader, suffers the remorse of causing the deaths ..." />
Movie Quality : BluRay
Format : MKV
Size : 780 MB
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A group of men of differing circumstances and personalities gather at a monastery to undergo a course of spiritual reappraisal. They comprise of a candle-maker, a politician, an ex-prisoner, a novelist and a petty thief trying to elude the police. All have their own spiritual problems to solve, except the thief. The politician, a former partisan leader, suffers the remorse of causing the deaths of three innocent men on a sabotage mission; he is set for the priesthood. The prisoner, a sick and possibly dying man, lacks the courage to visit his wife who is now happily remarried; his padre has advised him to leave her alone. The novelist bears the moral responsibility for offences committed by young people led astray by his writings; he earns a lot for his work, but is too demoralized to continue. Then the candle-maker - miserly, smooth-talking and bigoted - is unlikely to receive any benefit from his retreat to the monastery. Interwoven with the stories of these men is the drama of a ...
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A number of men face up to their lives during three days of spiritual exercises
I watched a complete 104 minute version (accounting for the PAL faster running time). There is apparently a 92 minute version that is edited very differently in the arrangement of scenes and has cuts. It should be avoided.
The direction and cinematography are superb. The script is fresh and not clichéd. How can it be clichéd when one cannot find a story of spiritual regeneration like this in movies anywhere? The movie feels unified and suspenseful and complete because it interweaves so well the interactions of the men with the priests and with the flashbacks. It does not consist of distinct sequential stories.
The story takes place in Vatican City, where 3-day spiritual retreats are conducted for a class of about 15 men who remove themselves from the hustle bustle of city life. Its focus includes the ebullient Aldo Fabrizi, playing a businessman who makes candles for the church and also is a Pope guard. He's an old-timer at this and apparently goes because he deals on the side with a functionary in order to sell his candles. Then there is a tubercular soldier (the depressed Daniel Gelin) who was given up for dead and seen his wife remarry, placing him in a quandary. There is a soldier turned political figure (the stalwart Jean Marais), who feels guilty over his wartime killing in the line of resistance duty in the Maquis of two little girls and their grandfather. A pickpocket is in the group by happenstance, having joined them to elude a policeman. The Father is Eduardo Cianelli, bringing great maturity and depth to his role. The Assistant Father has doubts about remaining in the church. Finally, there is a writer who has been writing popular potboilers after having his better work rejected. He has doubts about his life.
There are not too many characters because the script is so economical in bringing these men to life. No one of them is shortchanged.
The movie immerses viewers in the religion, not backing away whatever from its themes of guilt, purpose in life, redemption, understanding evil, man's freedom, faith and the unfathomable triune God. To be as effective as it is, it had to face these matters squarely because that is precisely what matters to the men's lives as they seek answers to questions that have no simple answers. They cannot judge themselves.
This movie should not be sloughed off as some average or dated undertaking. And do not think it's some kind of phony religious effort or spectacle. It's a serious movie filmed in a serious way. The lighting is subdued, with excellent use made of the architectural interiors. The staging is very thoughtful, making use of objects in the foreground to good effect. The use of light-gray-black shading is beautiful and dominates in many scenes within the quarters and the chapel. There is one dream or dream-like sequence that is done in noir style. The outdoor scenes make terrific use of crowds, especially in the opening sequence.
This is a very carefully done movie with an artistic and emotional impact. Mind you, it definitely favors a religious viewpoint. Nevertheless, I think that anyone can appreciate the problems of these men and feel empathy to the way that things turn out for them.