A Certain Kind of Silence

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A Certain Kind of Silence (Tiché doteky)

Directed by Michal Hogenauer

  • Czech Republic, Netherlands, Latvia 2019; 96 min
  • Original version: German, English, Dutch, Czech
  • Genre: Drama


Mia is hired as an au pair. She knows she’ll be looking after a 10-year-old boy, but that is all. Yet her very first meeting with the family suggests that she is expected to do rather more than this. She has to pay the price for a life of high financial and intellectual reward by following a set of strict rules whose infringement would result in instantaneous dismissal and a ticket back home. However, it would also mean abandoning a child she is trying to reach out to, and losing her self-respect.

Director's Statement

Most people know themselves just according to the basis of limited experience gained in every day’s life situations that are affected by the rules, laws, and principles that we regulate. Our changing roles behave according to the situations, the environment and the collective. But what happens when we leave our safe homes, when we change the size of playground, when we encounter a completely new and unfamiliar situation where our routine role does not equal to? What happens when people are not able to use the earlier guidelines for the proper choice? If we change the basic rules of the game, our old self does not necessary behave as we expected.
Most people perceive evil as something what you are born with, like a trait of character which is completely unknown for other people. Tradition dictates when there is violent behaviour, we must look for the innate disposition of individual, our genetic personalities or family history. It’s a comforting idea that there is evil it ́s important to wise up that we all have that evil in ourselves, we can learn to be good as well as to be bad. Everyone can commit a terrible crime which has been com- mitted by a human being. The evil is what we all — ordinary people — can do under certain conditions and in a certain situation.
The film A CERTAIN KIND OF SILENCE tries to capture just such a state. It focuses on the subject of manipulation, on the gradual and systematic manipulation in which a person — in this case a young au pair —partici- pates in things that were previously amoral for her.
Is it so easy to replace and delete the old order? How far can it go? And is it possible to come back?