Khamushiye darya

Silence of the Sea
Die Stille des Meeres
Directed by: 
Khamushiye darya / Silence of the Sea

„Shia, why don’t you come back home?“ this question from his long deceased mother will just not leave the Iranian, Shiavashi, alone. He leaves his wife Harriet and their two children behind and sets off from the cold of winter in Sweden, his exile which has never become his home, on his journey: not directly to Iran, but to the offshore island of Qeshm, for which he does not need a visa. In this twilight kingdom surrounded by the sea, a stop-off for smugglers on the way to Saudi Arabia, and for legal and illegal immigrants, Shiavashi tries to find out what the cause of his restlessness is. In search of his roots, he traces the landscape with his camcorder, giving people shy glances, who scrutinise him with distrust until they realise that he speaks their language. The images which he sees and films remain alien and upsetting to him. A mobile phone becomes his real window to the world, and carries the voices of his wife and children to the ears of this person who is a stranger in his own country, as well as the voice of his brother Hussein, who has remained in Iran, and whom Shiavashi, in a heart-breaking scene, initially does not recognise acoustically. On the verge of his old home, Shiavashi experiences moments of nostalgia, trauma, but also happiness, and in a dramatic finale, finds out where he really belongs. In quiet but penetrating images, opening up large spaces in the passage of time in search of home, Vahid Moussaini has achieved a filmic meditation full of visual beauty. (Festival information)