Asian Pop-Up Cinema Season 12

The Silent Forest (Taiwan) - Past Film

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THE SILENT FOREST is a powerful sexual abuse drama based on real events at a school in Taiwan.

Deaf teenager Chang Cheng transfers to a school for children with special needs. However, the world of the hearing-impaired doesn’t seem quiet at all. When Chang witnesses the “game” taking place in the last row on the school bus, his excitement about blending into a new environment immediately turns into fear. Seeing Bei Bei, the girl he has a crush on, getting hurt so badly, Xiao Guang, the ringleader, behaving like a king and other schoolmates acting innocent, Chang debates with himself on whether he should reveal the cruel truth about the game or whether he should join in. As the divide between the perpetrators and the victim begins to blur, confusion and anxiety grow among everyone in school. 

Director Ko Chen-nien

Based on harrowing events that are anything devoid of pacifying, THE SILENT FOREST earned multiple Golden Horse Award nominations, including Best New Director and Best Original Screenplay, and ultimately won Best New Performer and Best Sound Effects. Checking the boxes of multiple genres such as neo-noir, horror film, psychological thriller, and social realist drama, this tour-de-force proves Ko Chen-nien possesses an astuteness not typically found in directors making their first, full/length feature. There is much psychological and sexual complexity to be found among perpetrators and sufferers alike as children abuse other children at a school for the deaf. The trauma experienced by the characters is so intensely real that the viewer can’t help but feel deep compassion for those irreversibly damaged. THE SILENT FOREST is also a condemnation of Taiwan itself as no legal consequences have been dealt to the abusers who have left their victims permanently scarred—and, in some cases, the victims become abusers themselves.

  • Year
  • Runtime
    108 minutes
  • Country
  • Premiere
    North American Premiere
  • Note
    Suspense, Thriller, Mandarin with English subtitles
  • Director
    Ko Chen-nien
  • Screenwriter
    Ko Chen-Nien, LIN Pin-Jun
  • Cast
    Troy Liu, Chen Yan-fei, Kim Hyunbin, Liu Kuan-ting, Yang Kuei-mei, Cheung Ka-Ni, Chang Pen-Yu