Following the box office magic of Precious, exposing childhood and teen sexual abuse, comes a dark short film (13 minutes), In Silence, now premiering at the Action on Film International Film Festival in Pasadena (July 22-30) — exploring this delicate and once-taboo subject. Director Will Ahrens and Producer Jessica Mathews felt compelled to tell this harrowing story (based on true events), about a young man, Adam, desperately looking for answers to his beautiful sister’s suicide, committed in the prime of her life. As he discovers and uncovers her horrible shame, and the ugly family secrets, he wonders if he too should continue the silence or speak out and expose the horrific truth.
When reading some of his sister Amy’s diaries and journals of poems, he recounts her writing: “In Silence, I live; In Silence, I die.”
In Silence is a very emotional film for writer/director Ahrens, as it is an autobiographic tribute to his own sister. He states, “As an artist, this film is my way of dealing with the emotional toll that event took on me.” Audiences who have attended screenings of this film at festivals near and wide have felt such a visceral sense of relief and catharsis, and are thankful to Ahrens for sharing a piece of their own stories of molestation, and hopeful that the visual story of victimization can become one of empowerment and hope preventing future generations from such tragedies.
This young girl was robbed and violated of her innocence and immense talent; the film delves into her inner world of torment and troubled psyche, and how she ultimately found solace in her poetry. Hopefully, this film will help to break the silence associated with the cycle of abuse and encourage open dialogue and tolerance. The film is a true labor of love by all involved, pouring so much of themselves into the project, with such inspiring material, and the film’s strong message.
In Silence will screen at the Tim Littlefield’s Night of Awareness Event on Wed., July 27, @ 7 p.m. at Academy Theatre 3 in Pasadena. For more information, visit www.aoffest.com