“A Silent Truth”
A Rare and Powerful Film
I am always surprised when a small, independent film bowls me over as “A Silent Truth” did. This little film is powerful and important and I want to make sure that people know about it.
Ian (Daniel Sovich) has just turned fourteen and his mother loves him as does his uncle. His father deserted the family several years before the film begins. Ian is popular and well liked and he loves his grandmother who plays an impotent past in his life. He is keeping something inside of himself because he does not know how to deal with it and that is that he is gay. It is difficult enough to be a gay teen and Ian finds that insensitive remarks and cruel comments about gay people hurt him deeply. He feels that something is going to happen soon and he does not know how to react.
We meet Ian when he is crying in the bathroom during his own birthday party. The entire neighborhood has come out for the celebration, including his two good friends, both of whom are bullies, his best friend Jess (Dani Apple), and the new kid on the block who is openly gay and proud of it. As the story builds, Ian is confronted by hateful talk from friends and family. His friends make fun of the new boy behind his back and tease Ian telling him the “new kid” was making eyes at him. One of his friends ends the conversation by saying, “Man, I’m so glad you are all straight!” Ian’s mother puts pressure on him, even though she doesn’t realize it. She talks about how he and Jess make such a cute couple and refers to Jess as her “future daughter-in-law”. She even calls Ian a “ladies man” and mentions that all the girls at the party had their eyes on him. Wherever Ian goes, he is confronted with talk like this and while it isn’t meant to be hurtful, it does indeed cause him pain.
As time progresses, Ian begins hanging out more with Jess, who is open-minded and kind, as well as the new kid. While walking in town one day, they stop off at the local LGBT center where Ian meets some other gay people. “A heated discussion ensues about God, religion, and homosexuality” However the two school bullies see Ian walking out of the community center and they confront him and tell him that they are going to out him. Ian tries to figure out the best way to solve this problem and even contemplates taking his own life.
He is faced with painful questions which he passes off to the audience and we sit and think about the kinds of problems that gay teens face every day and especially when they have no one to turn to.
Directed by Peter Anthony Fields, the film is a very sensitive look at how Ian deals with his confusion and the stereotypes that both he and his family have about gay people. Important issues such as religion and suicide are dealt with in the film as is the inner turmoil that some gay teens face and while none of the themes are especially new, the sensitivity with which Fields deals with them makes this such a beautiful and rewarding film.
Fields and writing partner Evonne Fields-Gould gives us a perfect script and directs his film with style and grace. Both the music and cinematography are excellent, The film is short coming in at 42 minutes but it says so much more than a three hour epic film does. The film will move you and show you what real cinema is. I would love to see this film included in school curriculum so that we would not lose so many of our young people who despair and give up and do not give it a chance to get better.