Docpoint – Helsinki Documentary Film Festival


A Silent Story

Anders and Peter have known each other since childhood. One day Anders, who is now thirty, calls Peter, whom he has not seen in over ten years. Anders is making a film about sexual abuse and wants to interview Peter. The tone of the call is friendly, but after the call it is revealed that Peter had been abusing Anders for several years. Anders is making a movie about himself. The abuse began when Anders was six years old and Peter was thirteen. 

The men meet briefly to make further arrangements to meet again, but the follow-up meetings never seem to materialise. It takes months before Peter actually shows up for filming. Furthermore, Peter claims not to remember anything, and Anders is becoming frustrated. He drinks coffee and water, always just coffee and water, and complains to his partner. Anders is talking now, but in his childhood and youth, he was both surrounded by silence and was silent himself, he says. 

Anders Skovbjerg Jepsen is a Danish filmmaker and A Silent Story is his first feature-length documentary. The film approaches this painful subject in a tender and honest manner, avoiding voyeurism and scandalising. The film does not indulge in describing the abusive acts, and Peter is not demonised. His face is not shown, and his name is changed. The most shocking thing in the film is the disclosure at the beginning of the fact that approximately one out of three sexual abuse cases involve an underage person abusing another underage person.

Jaana Semeri (translated by Herman Tikkanen)

Content warning: flashing lights

Original Title: En tavs historie
Language: Danish
Subtitles: English
Length: 88 min
Age Limit: K12
Year: 2023
Production Country: Denmark, Sweden

Director: Anders Skovbjerg Jepsen
Producer: Anne Köhncke
Production Company: Final Cut for Real
Distribution Company: Syndicado Film Sales
Editing: Lars Sigsgaard Berg
Cinematographer: Mathias Døcker, Marie Suul Brobakke
Music: Irya Gmeyner, Martin Hederos
Sound Design: Martin Hennel, Jatte Nilsson