Silent Light. 2007. Mexico/France/Netherlands/Germany. Written and directed by Carlos Reygadas

Silent Light is bracketed by a pair of achingly beautiful tracking shots—one of dawn and one of sunset—that suggest a metaphysical dimension. This “silent light” frames the story of one man’s inescapable, passionate love for two women, and the spiritual crises and redemption that follow. The film’s emotional authenticity is inexorably linked to the community it portrays: a group of pacifist, simple-living Mennonites who have resided in the Mexican state of Chihuahua since the 1920s, speaking a German-derived dialect known as Plautdietsch. Much of the film’s power is generated by its cast of Mennonite nonactors, who appear to live and breathe the deep convictions of their faith and traditions, lending a documentary-like feel to this poetic work. Reygadas’s film is indebted to Carl Th. Dreyer’s 1954 masterpiece Ordet (also screening this month)—with which it shares a profound and deeply felt belief in the sublime and the miraculous.

Organized by Jytte Jensen, Curator, Department of Film.

If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA's collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

If you would like to license audio or video footage produced by MoMA, please contact Scala Archives (all geographic locations) at firenze@scalarchives.com.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication or moma.org, please email text_permissions@moma.org. If you would like to publish text from MoMA's archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to archives@moma.org.

This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to digital@moma.org.