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From 20 November 2023

Not a Word Kein Wort

Hanna Slak / Germany, Slovenia, France / 2023 / 87 min / German

Tackling coming-of-age traumas against the compelling backdrop of Mahler's music, Hanna Slak edges her story about the pivotal mother-son relationship towards a gripping climax.


When conductor Nina learns that her teenage son Lars has been injured in an accident at school, she is faced with a dilemma: Can she leave behind the rehearsals with her orchestra in order to be there completely for him… in a situation that could be a life-changing moment? The decision she makes is a compromise: for five days, she will leave Munich to take Lars on a getaway, to the island in western France where they usually spend their summer vacation. Thoughts of music haunt Nina, the calls from the mainland worry her. Is she just sabotaging the career she has fought so hard for? Lars withdraws further every day. Misunderstandings multiply, suppositions turn into suspicions: Was Lars a witness to a gruesome crime at school?

“I'm very sensitive to how we deal with the consequences of violence. An incident that affected me had to do with how the violent death of a child was dealt with in my Berlin neighbourhood. Apart from the abusive tabloid press, there were no visible attempts to talk about it. I witnessed schoolchildren reading news about it in the tabloids, which made me wonder: how do they process such information? Does it leave an impact, a scar?” (Hanna Slak)

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