BASED ON THE BOOK BY KNUT ELSTERMANN
It began with a broken taboo: when six-year-old Knut dares to ask his visiting "auntie Gerda" about her child, the whole room falls silent – no-one has ever dared mention this before. Young Knut bows his head in shame and confusion; this is a Sunday afternoon he'll never forget.
40 years later, Knut Elstermann, now a well-known German journalist, decides to ask Gerda again. She hesitates; in her nearing 90 years, she's never shared her past with any of her friends or relatives in her new home in United States. Why should she break the silence after 60 years and reveal her most intimate secret – and to Knut Elstermann of all people, the grandson of a childhood friend from Berlin? Finally, she agrees to talk about her experiences in Germany during the war, under one condition: her son is never to find out. What emerges extends beyond anyone’s imagination: both a deeply moving, tragic tale of personal loss and a series of wholly unexpected revelations that astonish her family and cast her previous reluctance to talk into a new light.
"Sometimes we think that everything has already been said about the Holocaust. But we are mistaken. There are still stories that have not been told - Britta Wauer's touching documentary proves this. For it is the great strength of Gerda’s Silence that the audience can witness the work of memory. And engage it in all the contradictions, but also in all the beautiful moments and incredible coincidences that Gerda had experienced."
PETER GUTTING, KINO-ZEIT
"As time passes, there is more and more urgency to hear from the survivors of the Holocaust. But as we repeat the mantra ‘to forgive and not forget’, are there some experiences really better left untold? Do survivors themselves have the right to remain silent? With its gorgeous photography and musical score, this is a beautifully atmospheric documentary about memory, family relationships and how the distance between truth and expectation can turn worlds upside down." UK JEWISH FILM
"A sensitive, intense film, like you've never seen before." ZITTY
Documentary, Germany 2008,
Writer / Director: Britta Wauer
DOP: Kaspar Köpke
Editor: Berthold Baule
Sound: Johannes Schmelzer-Ziringer
Music: Karim Sebastian Elias
TV Editor: Birgit Mehler
Producer: Volker Hahn, Zeitsprung Entertainment
|2009||Best Documentary Award
|2008||Best Music Award
|2009||Best Editing (Nomination)
German Camera Award
The DVD with Englisch subtitles was released by Good!Movies / Piffl Medien.
The soundtrack, composed by Karim Sebastian Elias and recorded with the Brandenburg State Orchestra, was released at Alhambra Records.