A Question of Silence

(De Stilte rond Christine M.)

Netherlands 1982. Dir Marleen Gorris.

With Edda Barends, Cox Habbema. 92 min.

Bags, shoes, hangers and clothes rails are transformed from innocuous accessories and boutique equipment into deadly weapons in Marleen Gorris’s feature film debut A Question of Silence. Three women, all strangers to each other, cross paths in a boutique when a relatively trivial shoplifting incident unleashes their suppressed frustrations. The Dutch writer-director Gorris, notorious for her outspoken feminist views, protests here against the female condition in a male-dominated society. Gorris, who is both radical and hilariously funny, shows how seemingly harmless women can turn into an unpredictable force when driven by rage. Winner of two prestigious awards, The Golden Calf and Grand Prix (both 1982), A Question of Silence has since been referred to as a landmark feminist work.