40 Days of Silence


Uzbekistan | 2014 | 88 minutes | Saodat Ismailova

In an isolated Uzbek village, young Bibicha takes a traditional vow of silence and moves into her grandmother’s old house, along with three other women, to be part of a chilla, or spiritual “quarantine.”

May 20, 2014
xHarvard Exit  
7:00 PM Date has passed
May 22, 2014
xHarvard Exit  
4:30 PM Date has passed
Show All

Surrounded by high mountains in an isolated village of Central Asia, a young woman named Bibicha decides to take a vow of silence. The Persian title of 40 Days of Silence is Chilla, which translates to “quarantine,” and is also a spiritual practice of penance and solitude known mostly in Indian and Persian traditions. In this ritual, a person remains silent and practices meditation techniques for 40 days. Bibicha tries to do this despite many family distractions. In her home, four women from four generations live their day-to-day lives under one roof: a grandmother who married and became a widow when she was just a kid, her oldest daughter who lived in the city and had a child, the granddaughter, out of wedlock, and Bibicha, the aunt and youngest daughter. Saodat Ismailova’s first dramatic feature film, shot on location in the Rangoon Valley in Tajikistan, makes silence it’s foundation and features an ample and keen sense of shadow, light, and color that is worthy of patience and close attention.

Director Biography

Born in Uzbekistan, Saodat Ismailova studied filmmaking at Tashkent State Art Institute, and then joined the cinema department of Fabrica in Italy where she directed her first film Aral, Fishing in an Invisible Sea (2004). Saodat also has her own company, Map Production, in Tashkent.

Sponsored by Seattle-Tashkent Sister City Association

Director: Saodat Ismailova
Principal Cast: Rukhshona Sattarova, Barohat Shukurova, Saodat Rahimova, Farida Olimova
Premier Status: North American Premiere
Country: Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Netherlands, Germany, France
Year: 2014
Running Time: 88 minutes
Producer: Denis Vaslin, Jean des Forêts, Benny Drechsel, Saodat Ismailova
Screenplay: Saodat Ismailova, Ulughbek Sadikov
Cinematographers: Benito Strangio
Editors: Benjamin Mirguet, Nathalie Alonso-Casale
Music: Jacob Kierkegaard
Website: Official Film Website
Filmography: Aral, Fishing in an Invisible Sea (Doc, 2004)
Language: Tadjik
HasSubTitles: Yes
Format: DCP
International Sales: Ramonda Films
Show All