“A Minute’s Silence”
“A Minute’s Silence” (original title “Die Schweigeminute”) takes place in the German fishing town Hirtshafen, where the local high school holds a memorial in honour of Stella Petersen, the school’s young English teacher. For one of her students Stella was, however, more than just a teacher, she was his first love. From 18-year-old Christian’s point of view we re-live a magical summer affair between two young people, which ends abruptly and tragically. But through death the affair changed into immortality.
Just before the end of the summer holidays 18 years old son of a stone-fisher, Christian Voigt, falls in love with his new English teacher, Stella.
At the traditional Hirtshafen harbour fete, Christian wins her attention and affection. Even though Stella attempts to distance herself and take over responsibility as a teacher, they start to meet discreetly – and continue after school has started. They spend the late summer days together boat riding, taking secret trips on the beach, and sending each other furtive glances. But as the weeks pass, their meetings become more difficult to conceal – at school, but also from their families.
Tragedy strikes when Christian witnesses his beloved flung overboard and fatally wounded during a stormy boat ride. Stella dies of her injuries a few days later, before Christian gets a proper chance to say goodbye.
During “a minute’s silence“ held at the school, alone with his secret among the other mourners, Christian looks back on his first love – a fleeting love full of doubts, fear and insecurities as well as hope, lightness and overwhelming happiness.
A Minute’s Silence, an adaptation of the best-selling novella by Siegfried Lenz, is a tender love story of a time, and yet speaks to any time: as a story about growing up and being a grown-up, a story that contrasts encounters charged with subtle erotic tension and shimmering romance with the experience of sudden loss and painful grief. Set in the timeless fishing town as it may have existed in the late 1950ies the film tells this story with a strong focus on visual sensuality and on the unique emotional experience of two main characters.
André Georgi & Claudia Kratachvil
(by Siegfred Lenz’s bestseller novel)
Oliver Berben & Sarah Kirkegaard
Copenhagen Production Service
12th of September 2016