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Beyond Silence (1996 film)

Jenseits der Stille
Directed by Caroline Link
Produced by Jakob Claussen
Thomas Wöbke
Luggi Waldleitner
Written by Caroline Link
Beth Serlin
Starring Sylvie Testud
Howie Seago
Emmanuelle Laborit
Sibylle Canonica
Matthias Habich
Alexandra Bolz
Birge Schade
Music by Niki Reiser
Cinematography Gernot Roll
Edited by Patricia Rommel
Release dates December 19, 1996 (1996-12-19)
Running time 112 minutes
Country Germany
Language German
German Sign Language

Beyond Silence (German: Jenseits der Stille) is a 1996 German film directed by Caroline Link.


The film tells the story of Lara, who grows up as the daughter of deaf parents. Lara herself is hearing and is fluent in sign language. Even as a young child, she serves as an interpreter for her parents in many situations. For example, she interprets at a credit negotiation at the bank, although not always completely truthfully.

In Christmas, Lara receives a clarinet from her Aunt Clarissa, an enthusiastic musician. Lara discovers the world of music, where her parents cannot follow her. In the years that follow, Lara is discovered to be a talented clarinet player.

After Lara's mother Kai is killed in a bike accident, Lara's father Martin feels abandoned. When the 18-year-old Lara wants to study at a music conservatory in Berlin, the family seems to break apart. The ending seems to reconcile it all: Lara's father tries to understand the love of music that his daughter feels, and the film comes to a careful reunion between Martin and Lara.


  • "A successful film debut of a graduate of the Munich Film Academy. The film is a sensible presentation of the problem of the handicapped as well as the universal theme of the self discovery of a young woman and the plea for understanding and openness about seemingly disproportionate experiences." (film-dienst 25/1996)
  • "Whoever would like to find out how loud the snow is and how the sounds of a clarinet can enchant people, should not allow themselves to miss this film: a German production which takes up extraordinary themes across the relationship-comedy and tells the story about saying goodbye to one's childhood with gentle humor and an idiosyncratic aesthetic." (Fischer Film Almanach, 1997)
  • "A film that allows silence to become music and has found strength in the balance between laughing and crying, happiness and pain. "Jenseits der Stille" is memorable among German productions, and excellently cast. (Dirk Jasper FilmLexikon)
  • "Thanks to good casting for all roles and assured acting performances under its direction, this [film is] a successful journey into the world of the deaf, with all its problems of social integration and family conflict." (FBW Langfilme)


Year Award Category Recipient Result
1997 Bavarian Film Awards Best Director Caroline Link Won
Best Film Score Niki Reiser Won
Chicago International Film Festival Special Mention Caroline Link Won
Best Film Caroline Link Nominated
Deutscher Filmpreis Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role Sylvie Testud Won
Best Editing Niki Reiser Won
Outstanding Feature Film Caroline Link Won
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role Emmanuelle Laborit Nominated
Best Direction Caroline Link Nominated
Guild of German Art House Cinemas German Film Caroline Link Won
Palm Springs International Film Festival Best Foreign Language Film Caroline Link Nominated
Tokyo International Film Festival Best Screenplay Award Caroline Link Won
Tokyo Grand Prix Caroline Link Won
Vancouver International Film Festival Most Popular Film Caroline Link Won
Young Artist Award Best Family Feature - Foreign Caroline Link Nominated
Best Performance in a Foreign Film Tatjana Trieb Nominated
1998 Academy Awards Best Foreign Language Film Caroline Link Nominated
National Board of Review Top Foreign Films Caroline Link Won


  • Caroline Link: Jenseits der Stille, Aufbau, 2001, ISBN 3-7466-1453-8 (Novel)

External links

  • Ungewöhnliche Dreharbeiten - Bayrischer Rundfunk
  • Filmeintrag auf with underground information
  • Beyond Silence at the Internet Movie Database
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