There are situations where words are no longer needed. A street in a big city, people walking in every direction, with everyone that has something to do... and all of a sudden the street stops for a brief second. There are three moments of perfect silence – the one before something happens, the one right when it happens, and the one right after it happened. In this case, these three moments are compressed in less than two seconds, a glimpse of an eye that was stretched for a full perceivable effect.
Boyang Li, the director, describes this short experimental as “a real sad life story that happens in Los Angeles downtown street.” Indeed, this is a sad story, but what makes it interesting is the fact that it is so prevalent in the streets of the big cities. Boyang Li made art from something we would never consider important artistic-wise: a phone theft.
This short is outstanding for one good reason – there are no words spoken. The streets are crowded, everybody walks with a purpose, and then the conflict happens. After the conflict, there are also no words, just pure emotions everywhere. Each person sees this event differently; the woman starts crying – we don’t know her backstory, we don’t know who she was texting and what she was texting about. The man near her has a look on his face that says “I am here to help”, but he seems to be in doubt. Everybody feels something about what they witnessed, but no one knows how to express their feelings properly.
This short does an outstanding job at playing with emotions and showing bare and untainted feelings in people, even if we like them or not. The natural feeling is actually the secret when it comes to understanding ‘Silence’, a short so intense it needs no words to tell a great story!
Written by Vlad A. G