It’s better to die in silence than live in noise – “SHHHH”, dir. Jonathan Mordechay

Is there anything better than a moment of peace after a hard day at work? I don’t mean such rarities as beer or Eurosport but just a rest from people and sounds they are making. Such a breather is worth a lot but how much can we sacrifice for the rest? As the author of the movie “SHHHH” points out, someone can dedicate his life to it. Okay, but why should we take such radical steps right away? After all, it’s all about a moment of relaxation.

In his movie, Jonathan Mordechay does not follow the path of half-measures. Instead, he chooses grotesque. As he is known in Israel as a maker of music videos and commercials, his choice may be related to his artistic path, not typical for directors.

The young parents, whose life does not seem to be unusual, are the main characters of the movie. The mother takes care of the house and the child, whereas the father works. We are under the impression that their only problem is to put the baby to bed. Therefore, when the father returns home, the mother, who spends the whole day with the baby is trying her best not to wake it up. This desire makes the film almost completely soundless so the whole dramaturgy is based on the actor’s play.

The movie begins with a scene that tells us about the tired mother, taking care of the baby day and night and trying to put it to bed. When the father returns home, he just as quickly joins the world of silence in which the quietest sound is forbidden. Eating dinner, using the telephone or just a simple conversation becomes a reason for a silent argument between parents. As the tension between them grows, their conflict becomes more explicit and unbelievable at the same time. Their hidden emotions are seen in the bloody final.

The ending of the movie lets us draw a different theory about the meaning of the plot and the answer to the immortal question “what did the author have in mind?”. However, it seems that the search for the rest at the price of life is overegged, even in the intentionally created world that is supposed to be ridiculous and over-the-top. Therefore, it’s very possible that what’s hidden is the most important in the movie. At the same time, it forms the main element of communication between the characters, i.e. emotions.

Keeping a child is a very difficult responsibility overwhelming young parents to such an extent that the relationship between them could die. However, to admit it directly could be as difficult as raising a child. Therefore, silence seems to be an easy way out of a complicated situation. So, in my opinion, the crying child is not the biggest parents’ problem. The problem is that with no reason to be silent, the argument for having no conversation would disappear and their relationship could end.


Cezary Kowalski

Tłumaczenie: Julia Czaplińska

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