The Silence (1963) Script



What does that mean?

I don't know.

What are you looking at? Your feet.


They walk you around all the time, all by themselves.

Hadn't we better try to get hold of a doctor?

Are you cold? A little.

The heat's awful.

If I can rest now, we can leave tomorrow and be home by Monday.

Thank goodness for that.

I know you're glad.

Is it stuffy in here?


Open the window, then.

May I shut the door? Of course.


Come here and scrub my back.

I'm coming.

That'll do.

Go wait in the other room.

We're going to take a nap.

Take off your shirt and trousers.

Come here.




Johan, do be quiet.

I told you I want to sleep.

Good day.

You're quite tan.

I'm going out.


What is it?


All right.

This is humiliating. I won't stand for it.

I must keep my head.

I'm known as a level-headed person.

Dear God, please let me die at home!

That's better.

I must try and eat something. My stomach feels empty.

How stupid of me to drink on an empty stomach.

Thank you.

Are you hungry?

You're welcome to have some of my food.

Are you homesick?

We'll be home on Monday.

May I go to Granny's then? Right away.

How long will I stay there? All summer and next winter, too.

You'll go to school there.

Will Mommy come visit me?


And Papa?

If he has the time.

But he's a busy man.

That's true.

But there are other nice things. Horses...

I'm pretty scared of horses.

Is that so?

Well, there are rabbits.

And you can go sailing with Uncle Persson.

The water's lovely and green and so clear you can see the bottom.

Cheer up.

Will you be there?

You can go fishing.

What do you catch?


And sometimes dace.

I've had enough. Thank you.

Leave the door open please.

I'll draw you a nice picture, if you like.

Don't worry. Mommy will be back soon.

And I'm here.

Are you feeling better?

That's good.

What are you doing? Working, as you can see.

Then mind your own business and don't spy on me.

To think that I've been afraid of you.

When are we going home?

This evening perhaps.

Is Ester going with us?

I don't know.

What's this town called?

Timoka, I think.

What is that?


Can you give Johan some cigarettes? I'm all out.

Mine are on the desk.

May I take a couple? Sure.

Thank you very much.

I think the two of you should leave tonight.

We can't leave you like this.

I'm not up to traveling yet. In a few days perhaps.

What's that music? Bach.

It's nice.

I'm going out for a while.

I can't stand the heat in here.

I'll be back soon.

Why don't you read to Ester?

Go while your conscience lets you.

Johan, step outside for a while. I want to talk to Anna alone.

Aren't I going to read to you? Later.

I'll go out in the hallway.

Don't go too far.

Where have you been?

Out for a walk.

Where did you go?

Oh, not far.

That was a long walk.

I didn't want to come back here.

Why not?

I didn't feel like it.

You're lying.

Do you want to know all the details?

Just answer my questions.

Remember that winter ten years ago when we stayed with Father in Lyons?

I had been out with Claude.

You interrogated me that time, too.

Said you'd tell Father if I didn't tell you everything.

In detail.

I went to the cinema and sat in a box at the back.

A man and a woman made love right in front of me.

When they were finished, they left.

A man came in, someone I'd met at the bar.

He sat down next to me and started stroking my thighs.

Then we had intercourse on the floor.

That's how my dress got dirty.

Is that true?

Why would I lie?

Right. Why would you?

It so happens that I was lying.

It doesn't matter.

I sat and watched that couple make love.

Then I went to the bar, and this man left with me.

I didn't know where to go, so we went into a church.

We had intercourse in a dark corner behind some pillars.

It was cooler there.

I see.

This time I'll make sure I get my clothes off first.

Shouldn't you go to bed?

Sit with me.

Here, on the edge of the bed.

Just for a moment.

Are you going to meet him?

Please don't.

Not tonight.

It's such torment.

Why is that?


I feel humiliated.

You mustn't think I'm jealous.

I have to go.


You were going to read to me.

You look strange.

How about reading to me now?

I'll show you my Punch and Judy instead.

Help! I'm dying!

What's he saying?

I don't know.

He's scared, so he speaks in a funny language.

Can't Punch sing instead?

Yes, but not while he's still angry.

How nice...

How nice that we don't understand each other.

I wish Ester were dead.


Why are you a translator?

So that you can read books written in a foreign language.

Do you know the language here?

No, but I've learned a few words.

Don't forget to write them down for me.

I won't.

Why doesn't Mommy want to be with us?

Oh, but she does.

No, she leaves whenever she can.

She's just gone out for a walk.

No, she hasn't.

She hasn't?

She's with somebody. They kissed and kissed.

Then they went into a room.

I saw them myself.

Are you sure about that?

I saw them.

Have you washed properly?

No. Do I have to?

We were hoping to enjoy this trip.

But instead...

I've had great fun.

Mommy's the only one who may touch you, isn't she?

We love Mommy, you and I.

Do you know what "face" is in this language?

It's najgo.

And "hand" is kasi.

When she's ill, she wants her own way.

Then I'm the idiot, of course.

"What a glutton you are," she says.

"How fat you've gotten lately.

You need to go on a diet."

I like food.

So would she if she didn't drink so much.

I'm a good driver, though.

Even Ester admits that much.

Are you in there?

What do you want?

I need to talk to you.

She's still there.

She's crying.

Where are you?

What have I done to deserve this? Nothing in particular.

It's just that you always harp on your principles and drone on about how important everything is.

But it's all just hot air.

You know why?

I'll tell you.

Everything centers around your ego.

You can't live without feeling superior. That's the truth.

Everything has to be desperately important and meaningful and goodness knows what.

How else are we to live?

I used to think you were right.

I tried to be like you because I admired you.

I didn't realize you disliked me.

That's not true. Oh, yes, it is.

You always have. I just never realized it before.

No. Yes.

And in some way you're afraid of me.

I'm not afraid of you.

I love you.

You always talk a lot about love.

You can't say — What can't I say?

That Ester feels hatred?

That's just a silly idea of mine, right?

You hate me, just like you hate yourself.

Me and everything that's mine.

You're full of hate. That's not true.

With all your education and all the fancy books you've translated... can you answer me one thing?

When Father died, you said, "I don't want to go on living."

So, why are you still around?

Is it for my sake?

For Johan's?

For your work perhaps?

Or for no reason in particular?

It's not like you say. I'm sure you've got it all wrong.

Don't use that tone of voice!

Get out! Leave me alone!

Poor Anna.

Why don't you shut up?

Poor Anna.

Johan and I are going across the street for a bite to eat.

We're leaving on the 2:00 train.

This heat is awful.


I'll be back soon.


Give me my writing things.



She's been gone an hour, and she took the boy with her.

Erectile tissue.

It's all a matter of erections and secretions.

A confession before extreme unction.

Semen smells nasty to me.

I have a very keen sense of smell, and I stank like a rotten fish when I was fertilized.

It's optional.

I didn't want to accept my wretched role.

But now it's too damn lonely.

We try out attitudes and find them all worthless.

The forces are too strong.

I mean the forces... the horrible forces.

You need to watch your step among all the ghosts and memories.

All this talk...

There's no need to discuss loneliness.

It's a waste of time.

Give me my writing things.

I'm feeling much better now, let me tell you.

Do you know what my condition is called?


It was the same with Father. He would laugh and joke.

Then he looked at me.

"Now it's eternity, Ester," he said.

He was so kind.

Though he was such a big, heavy man.

He weighed nearly 440 pounds.

I wish I'd seen the men who had to lift his coffin.

I'm so tired.

No, I don't want to die like this.

I don't want to suffocate.

Oh, that was horrible. Now I'm frightened.

That scared me.

That mustn't happen again.

Where's the doctor? Must I die all alone?


I'm ill.

Mother, come and help me.

I'm so frightened.

I don't want to die.

Don't be afraid.

I'm not going to die.

I'm pulling myself together.

I see.

I've written you a letter, just like I promised.

It's on the floor... if you can find it.

It's important.

You'll understand.

We have to hurry. The train leaves in an hour.

Don't be afraid.

Don't be afraid.

Hurry up, Johan. Do you hear?

It's just as well you're leaving.

I didn't ask for your opinion.

What's that?

Ester wrote me a letter.

A letter? Let me see.

"To Johan. Words in a foreign language."

Nice of her.