The film adaptation of Jan Costin Wagner’s Silence (see here for Mrs P. book review) will be shown tonight on BBC4 at 9pm. It’s a German production, Das letzte Schweigen (the final silence), directed by Baran bo Odar, and transposes the Finnish action of the novel to small-town Germany (Costin Wagner is himself German, which may have prompted the switch).
The trailer on the TV/Radio Times website looks promising, although it should be noted the film’s subject matter is quite harrowing.
Here’s a portion of the TV/Radio Times review by Trevor Johnston (contains mild spoilers) :
>> Twenty three years after the unsolved murder of a schoolgirl in a wheat field, another young victim goes missing, in this German thriller that surveys the course of justice from various angles. The perpetrator of the first killing is identified in the very first scene, with the key dilemma revolving around his unwitting accomplice, who is so troubled by events that he disappears and keeps his silence over the decades. There’s certainly an involving moral complexity to Baran bo Odar’s film, though at times it does get bogged down trying to keep tabs on the killers, the investigators and the victims’ families across both time frames. Occasional lapses in credibility notwithstanding, it’s still tense and unsettling fare that treads delicately through difficult territory that involves the abuse of children.<<
Baran bo Odar was listed by Variety Magazine as one of ’10 Directors to Watch’ in 2011. You can read Variety’s profile of him here – with some comment on the film as well.
Update: I’ve just finished watching the film and thought it was a truly excellent adaptation, faithful in almost every respect to the novel, and conveying its central themes of guilt and grief in an extremely effective way. Some terrific acting (especially from Katrin Sass, who also played a mother in Goodbye Lenin) and the cinematography was wonderful too. Top quality, intelligent (and highly unsettling) crime drama.