Silent Souls
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When Miron's beloved wife Tanya passes away, he asks his best friend Aist to help him say goodbye to her according to the rituals of the Merja culture, an ancient Finno-Ugric tribe from Lake Nero, a picturesque region in West-Central Russia. Although the Merja people assimilated into Russians in the 17th century, their myths and traditions live on in their descendants' modern life. The two men set out on a road trip thousands of miles across the boundless land, with them, two small birds in a cage. Along the way, as is custom for the Merjans, Miron shares intimate memories of his… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"A meditation on death and sex, it's a melancholy and touchingly profound folk tale, though also deeply weird in places - pagan vajazzling, anyone?"
‑ Cath Clarke, Time Out
"Rife with earthy details and poetic associations, the movie often advances like a daydream."
‑ Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader
"... slow and introspective, paced in long, still shots that seem to drift in time rather than march forward."
‑ Sean Axmaker, Turner Classic Movies Online
"Full of striking visual images and fragmentary half-truths - a dour meditation on love and death that arrests and alienates in equal measure."
‑ Mark Kermode, Observer [UK]
"It is an odd, low-key film but the brief running time ensures that it never overstays its welcome."
‑ Allan Hunter, Daily Express
"It's lovely and slow and melancholic and short - 75 minutes, yet you feel you've been gone for an epoch or two."
‑ Ty Burr, Boston Globe
"This profound and immensely touching film in only 75 perfect minutes achieves the profundity of an epic."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"Overwhelms us with meaningful silence."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"The performances are pitch perfect. The culture is fascinating. See it. See it. See it."
‑ Tara Brady, Irish Times
"Fedorchenko may not exactly be on oath with all of these Meryan traditions of his, but they create an utterly distinctive world, and the close harmony provided by a choir in one scene really is arresting."
‑ Peter Bradshaw, Guardian
"An astonishing, haunting, sensual, lyrical, bleak and ultimately beautiful road-trip movie."
‑ David Lewis, San Francisco Chronicle
"The Russian drama unfolds as a series of perplexing, fascinating snapshots, yet the predominant story about saying goodbye - to people and customs - are universal."
‑ Stephanie Merry, Washington Post
"Shot in a series of long single takes in the remote reaches of a chilly landscape the film evokes how the acceptance of loss can bring a sense of peace."
‑ Jim Schembri, 3AW
"Aleksei Fedorchenko's crisp, beautiful film ponders the oddness and necessity of the folk rites in which we all seek solace."
‑ Robbie Collin, Daily Telegraph
"A disarming tableau about life, love and death, Aleksei Fedorchenko's lyrical drama is soup for the soul."
‑ Shaun Munro, What Culture
More reviews for Silent Souls on Rotten Tomatoes

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