A film by Hans Steinbichler from a screenplay by Martin Ambrosch starring Petra Schmidt-Schaller and Ina Weisse.
Eva (Petra Schmidt-Schaller) has been looking for her older sister Lydia (Ina Weisse) for years in vain, but suddenly she shows up in her hometown in the mountains and settles accounts with the family. A web of lies and betrayal opens up, the facade cracks, and the young woman threatens to stagger into nothingness.
A casual family dinner turns into bitter seriousness when Lydia returns to her hometown Bad Gastein after a long absence. No one has heard from her in decades, no one expected her to show up. The family’s joy turns to anger and incomprehension when Lydia uses her surprise return to settle accounts with people from her past. For Lydia accuses Christian, the fiancé of her younger sister Eva, of raping her when she was 14 years old. An event that abruptly ended her childhood and from which she had never really recovered. Rumors begin to spread in the village, and the family is stunned.
Eva is particularly hard hit by Lydia’s announcement: for decades she had sought contact with her sister in vain, suffering from the vague feeling that something essential was missing from her life. A feeling that perhaps only the sister can take away from her? Eva is torn between wanting to help the visibly unstable Lydia and at the same time trying to dissuade her from becoming even more entangled in her tall tales. Although no one in town wants to doubt the innocence of the popular teacher, the accusations soon have consequences: Christian, stigmatized by the rumors, threatens to lose his job.
And then Christian’s body is recovered from the raging river that has always divided the traditional village. The police assume it was a suicide and want to close the case. Eva, however, is firmly convinced that her sister drove Christian to his death and searches for evidence. The more intensively Eva then deals with her sister’s past, the more real her accusations become for her.
Secluded high in the mountains, a small spa town whose grand hotels from the Belle Epoque keep alive the very special charm of those times of splendor becomes the fateful location of an abysmal and subtly told drama. Martin Ambrosch (“Traces of Evil”, “The Dark Valley”) provided with his screenplay the template for an emotionally dense film in an archaic setting. The renowned and award-winning Hans Steinbichler, known for his psychologically differentiated and atmospherically charged films (“Hierankl,” “Winterreise,” “Bella Block,” “Hattinger – Der Chiemseekrimi”), came on board to direct. He himself grew up in the Alps and has already proven many times with his films that he is not interested in general genre guidelines. Instead, he understands like no one else how to uncover people’s stories with ever exciting cinematic means and with a sometimes almost merciless gaze. People and their dramas, which in turn cannot be understood without the landscape in which they live. People and their stories, which on closer inspection usually resemble an abyss.
The film has a top-class cast with actors Petra Schmidt-Schaller, Ina Weisse, Simon Schwarz, Hary Prinz, Helmuth Lohner and others. “Das Dorf des Schweigens” is a production of Network Movie Hamburg, Jutta Lieck-Klenke. Producer: Anne-Lena Dwyer, Producers: Jutta Lieck-Klenke and Dietrich Kluge. Produced with the support of the state of Salzburg. The editorial office at ZDF is in the hands of Daniel Blum.