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Silent Heart

(Stille Hjerte)
Denmark 2014. Dir: Bille August. 97 min. Blu-ray Disc

VANCOUVER PREMIERE | Danish veteran Bille August is best-known for two Palme d’Or winners, 1987’s Pelle the Conqueror (which also won the Foreign-Language Oscar) and 1991’s The Best Intentions (from an Ingmar Bergman script). Silent Heart, his latest, is a moving domestic drama that addresses the issue of assisted suicide. Three generations of a family gather for a weekend to say farewell to matriarch Esther (Ghita Nørby), who has a debilitating illness and wishes to end her life. Her husband Poul (Morten Grunwald), a doctor, has agreed to help her die. But as the weekend progresses, and old conflicts emerge, Esther’s children are no longer so certain they support the decision. Silent Heart won four Bodil Awards (the Danish Oscars), including Best Film. “Masterfully crafted ... A return to form for August” (Jonathan Holland, Hollywood Reporter). In Danish with English subtitles.