Friday, February 20, 2015

I never heard so much silence

"I never heard so much silence," says a young woman who comes with a camera to a poor, dying village somewhere in Brazil.

This is the reaction I had while watching her interact with the villagers in the remarkable film "Found Memories," which proved to be an ideal source of reflection on the day after Ash Wednesday, when I was looking for a way to increase my experience of contemplation and silence.

Just watching the scenes, filmed in real life, slowly unfold, without music or narration or artificial light: the scenes are lit like paintings as shutters open to let in the sun or as old people walk around with kerosene lamps. The pace is slow, thank God.

As we watch an old woman bake bread, go the coffee shop in the tiny village, then to the church, nothing much seems to happen--except the big things: life, old age, death, love and memory. And the need to bake bread.

It is impossible to analyze this quiet Brazilian film; it has to be experienced. For me, it was an ideal companion in the beginning of Lent.

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