User Reviews (8)

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  • This is described by the synopsis as two young men in Berlin who think they are never going to meet that 'special one', suddenly brushing hands on the street and then finding that love can blossom in the strangest of places. One is Marlo who has just moved in with a girlfriend who does not know he is gay. The other is Kirill who has just returned from a less than successful visit to Moscow – and has some issues.

    This starts off very well but then it becomes clear pretty fast that Kirill has behavioural and or mental health issues and Marlo – to his credit – bears with it. I think this is supposed to be about finding love despite the differences and the fragile nature that some of us become. However, there were so many long drawn out shots where very little happens. This includes walking, sitting, eating or just doing bugger all really. I just wanted something to happen. There are no bedroom 'goings on' here either – in case you were wondering. I have seen more action in a detergent commercial to be honest.

    Also this is only 73 minutes in length and did feel longer. I appreciate a 'lyrical' delivery of a story but there has to be some 'poetry' to keep it afloat and I felt that too was lacking. There was a German film out a few years ago called 'Harvest' and I felt that too was lacking, but a lot of people really liked it. If you found that one good then you may well find something here too; if however you preferred German offerings like 'Freefall', 'Balls', or even the excellent 'Sumerstorm', then this will probably not be for you.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    ************SPOILERS AHEAD************

    Since the title is Silent Youth, you wouldn't expect a lot of dialogue - and it is indeed scarce. But what dialogue there is, is well placed, significant, although often seemingly only touching on superficialities, and very authentic. The acting is superbly understated, nuanced, organic, and extremely believable. Especially Martin Bruchmann (Marlo) wowed me with his relaxed, openness and intensity.

    What I like about this type of movie is the courage to portray characters that feel real and believable. This story with these characters could have happened in real life, just as depicted, no heightened reality, no "grand emotions", no suspense of disbelief, no McGuffins, no forced storytelling -- simply a love story that could have been.

    To understand it, you have to pay attention to the minutiae of the budding relationship, beginning with a barely-there touching of their hands in passing. Each shy dart of the eyes, each (short) question and (even shorter) answer a shallow stepping stone in the right direction, towards each other, towards more intimacy. It's a very delicate process and one that could easily have been marred by the many obstacles it is confronted with: Kirill not calling at the expected time, the father driving them, Kirill going off on multiple mental tangents, throwing Marlo curve-ball after curve-ball.

    It's really a testament to Marlo's insistence and emotional stability that this chance encounter bears any fruit at all. And it is thanks to his sensitivity that the psychologically self-destructive bender Kirill falls victim to in the last scene doesn't explode right in their faces - with potentially disastrous consequences.

    It was very moving to see how Marlo was able to give Kirill a clear signal to stop when he went off the lid and doing so with a minimum of anger or aggression, keeping the door open for another way to interact/communicate (which Kirill took), and subsequently reigning him in with compassion, empathy, and tenderness.

    I got a hint of a "survivor" vibe off of Kirill. He is obviously a victim of violence and also frequently manipulated by others (girlfriend, girlfriend's father) but he could even be a victim of sexual abuse. He did, as far as I remember, not answer the return question, whether he had been with a man before, and by not denying it, implying that he had. His line "You seem to be the kind of person that follows people around" seems to underpin this. So maybe he expected to be sexually exploited because that's how same sex hook-ups had turned out for him in the past.

    I get the ending, shown as a kind of epilogue, and I liked it because, again, it was very understated while at the same time telling volumes about their journey. But it would have been even more satisfying to see how these two would be doing after, say, a month or two. But that's material for another movie, I guess.

    An alternate titel could be "Lost and Found", that's the overall feeling this movie left me with.
  • Vincentiu24 February 2014
    its basic virtue is fragility.fragility of emotions, gestures and words. the essential virtue is the tension translation of the relationship. result - a kind of poem about solitude and need of the other. it can be a gay story. but not at whole. it can be reflection of society. but not it seems be the purpose. story of a meeting, with universal connotations, it is a common story and different is only science to present, very careful, the ladder of the feelings and gestures. a remarkable movie and a must see for the viewer who need discover and preserve the poetry of life. a love story. and, of course, a silent story. maybe , because, in this case, the seed of silence are the delicacy of words. good actors, remarkable script, first for its charming simplicity. not extraordinary, maybe, but honest in a touching manner.
  • s_j_e30 September 2018
    Seemed kinda interesting and arty to begin with but it gets a bit boring in the second half, as the other reviews note. Then one of the characters' story and personality gets weirder and the interest picks up a bit towards the end.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "Silent Youth" is a German movie from 2012 that will have its 5th anniversary next year. Do not be fooled by the English title, it's all in the German language. The writer and director is Diemo Kemmesies and it is his most known work so far, but this means nothing because it is only his second work as a filmmaker. And it means especially nothing as this film here is not even a mediocre movie, it is a prime example of how everything went wrong and it's a massive failure as a result. The two actors Martin Bruchmann and Josef Mattes are certainly among the weakest components of the film. Both have horrendous line delivery and their acting in terms of physicality is just as bad as the robotic way in which they talk. No idea who agreed on casting them. Besides, the two have zero chemistry. The lack of range of the duo is also a prime example in Josef Mattes' case as he is the son of actress Eva Mattes that worked with Kinski, Herzog, Fassbinder and others, but her talent clearly did not pass on to her son. Back to this movie, maybe they thought if both suck maybe the audience will not realize it in a way they would if one of them is good and the other bad. This is especially painful as both of them are in basically every scene from start to finish. Acting is a fail with the exception of Linda Schüle who is actually fairly decent and makes the most of the little screen time she got.

    Now the script. This is the story of two young men meeting and falling in love with each other. And this is basically it. References about a black eye and one character's father feel as fake and included just for the sake of it as the dramatic conflict between the two towards the end, which may have been the weakest moment of the film. It's all so generic. So predictable. So much of a failure. Now let me elaborate a bit on the word "offensive" in my title. This is a description that fits many gay-themed movies and has done so for 2 decades already maybe. Strangely enough back then when it really meant something dangerous to be a homosexual, people were not shoving this subject in our faces in terms of the quantity like it exists now in so many films. Gay-themed movies back in the 20th century, especially before 1990 existed because they had talent and class. And potential. And meaning and a message. Nowadays, gay films do not even have a plot. Them being gay is enough. There are no films that are about nothing but the couple in the center of the film being straight. It is simply not enough of a subject. Homosexuality is not a taboo anymore today. It is tolerated in every society in the civilized parts of the world and certainly everywhere where these films are set. You need character development. Interactions that make sense. And a plot! All this is missing here. This film is the epitome of what is wrong with gay-themed movies in the 21st century. It's all quantity. Zero quality. Luckily the quantity in terms of runtime was relatively low here. I still could not wait for the film to end as watching the two "actors" became more and more painful the longer the film dragged. I highly recommend to stay far far away. Absolutely not recommended.
  • usnavynuke8 September 2019
    This film has "silent" in the title for a reason. You will enjoy this film if you understand the intricacies of the noises in the silence. Watching this film brought me back to a time where I can remember all of the nuances of a budding relationship.

    And yes, something is mentally off with one of the characters, but that adds much more to his mystery. It leaves you wondering what could have happened in this poor boy's life that brought him to where he is today. And it makes you like the other guy more for understanding how to deal with the situation. I really liked this film.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Theirs too much silence & background noises that annoys me waiting for the next deliverance of each actors line, but maybe that's what the movie wanted to imply "silent". The actors are neither imply gay nor straight but on a state of coming out. I believe that the movie story wanted to show a common situation of two men(two strangers) in solitude that met and found comfort zone in each others company. Marlo seeking for any news about Sarah- I believe its her ex-girlfriend which he longing while Kirill is troubled by his family situation and claiming he has a son which the mother don't want him to see. But they were in a questionable situation "of what kind of relationship they're building with each other?"
  • jesse-846-72050319 November 2018
    3/10
    Huh?
    This is almost a parody of the depressing Eastern European film cliche. Quiet, somber, and apparently filled with a lot of symbolism that went right over my head. I kept waiting for something to actually happen, or for someone to, please, just SAY something! The entire movie was filled with long, drawn-out scenes of the two guys walking or sitting and just saying almost nothing.

    How could either of theses guys been drawn to the other? Neither had any real personality, and the one kid seemed like he was going to jump off a cliff any moment. He was almost catatonic.

    Probably one of the weirder movies I've ever seen. But I watched the whole thing, determined to find out where it went. Which seemed to be nowhere.