in about 100 words or less
Netherlands, 92m, Colour
Director: Marleen Gorris; Cast: Edda Barends, Nelly Frijda, Henriëtte Tol, Cox Habbema, Eddie Brugman, Hans Croiset, Erik Plooyer
A Question of Silence is a controversial and explicitly feminist film which suggests that a lifetime of subjugation in a male dominated society is the cause of, and explanation for, the vicious beating death of a shopkeeper by three “ordinary” women who had no previous connection to either the victim or each other. It is also revealed that not only did they lack remorse, but that they had gained some measure of temporary satisfaction from the killing. Eventually found to sane by the court appointed woman psychiatrist, the film ends in uproarious laughter among the women in the courtroom, when it is asked whether there is anyone who do not think they are mad. The film’s overtly provocative and absurd premise has generated considerable discourse which seems to have been the film’s purpose. However, whether or not it has served the feminist cause remains open for debate (Klaus Ming October 2016).