In the last two decades, Latin American cinema has brought to perfection the minimalist genre. Among many other works we have Liverpool by Lisandro Alonso (2008), The Window by Carlos Sorin (2008), Paraguayan Hammock by Paz Encina (2006), Eternity by Óscar Catacora (2017), Las Acacias by Pablo Giorgelli (2011) and How Most Things Work by Fernando Salem (2015). These movies capture the ebb and flow of real life, sometimes slow, occasionally boring, sometimes fast and unexpected. Motivations may be uncertain and loose ends are not neatly tied up in the end as in conventional movies.
The subject of El Silencio es Bienvenido (Silence is Welcome) is a road trip from Mexico City to Tamiahua, a coastal town near Veracruz. The trip is undertaken by a family with the object of visiting the children's grandmother. We witness conversations (some lengthy, some snappy) between daughters Andrea and Amanda, father Joel and mother Mónica in their house, the car, a hotel and a plantain forest. We are offered some hints on the the family's past, but there is much to figure out; there are no explanations or flashbacks. At the end our observation of the family stops and the ending is mostly left to for the viewer to imagine, although there are some chilling anticipations earlier in the movie.
A film like this cannot succeed without first rate script and direction. Both have been achieved by director Gabriela García Rivas. Acting is excellent all around This is García Rivas' only feature film credit (the other three are shorts). Her debut could't be more auspicious, and I hope it is the beginning of a brilliant career.