The Employment of Language ofSilence at The Time That Remains. The many silence clips in TheTime That Remains contribute giving the viewer the ability to look deeply atthe dimensions of the scene, whereas silence attracts the audienceto focus on the actor’s facial expressions and his movements. Thus, he can divedeep into the scene to recognize what the filmmaker says about himself or aboutothers. Besides, there is a glorious desire to listen to the other, not by the ear but by the whole body and with complete attention.
In The Time That RemainsElia Suleiman has employed the silence language to reflect the painful reality the Palestinian lives, and to leave amark to think about later. The absence of sounds does not diminish orobstruct the idea of the film because the image and the authentic feeling,which success when the filmmaker who has lived the authentic experience he isthe actor, like Elia in The Time That remains, can increase the importance of the film in the sense and subject. ” One image is worthten thousand words,” says the Chinese proverb. The language of silencehides in its deep and symbolizes the meaning of darkness and confusion thatPalestinians live. That is what Elia has tried to expose to the audiencethrough his film The Time That Remains. Employment of silence as an alternativelanguage has served Elia to reveal the violence thatPalestinians (as Elia) suffer because of the heinous practices of occupation ,to explain the alienation and absurdity experienced by the Palestinian who istrying hard to communicate with the others and aims to achieve something to his county , and to prove that language ofsilence is a real communication as words regardless of its effects.
Elia Suleiman has employedthe language of silence and stay silent throughout the film because he wantedto express to the Palestinian and the international audience the violence of the Zionist occupation that the Palestinian face. Since hewas a child he did not speak a single word , Even when the teacher rebuked himwhen he said ” America is an imperialist ” he remained silent, thisexplaining that violence has not only been perpetrated by killing and arrest,but also by education in schools which are controlled by the occupation to instill fear inchildren since childhood . The practiced violence against Elia as a Palestinian has been translated into silence, even insituations that require shouting and crying, ashappened when police arrested his father in front of him, he did not react in anormal way like any child does.
Not because he has nothing to say but becausestaying silent will make the audience think that there is somethingwrong. As Patrice J . Proulx references “Warner-Vieyra’s textual inscriptions of silence and violence evince this ” concern with women’s silence ” and, throughtheir figurations of muted bodies and voices, engage her in the ongoingstruggle to articulate women’s stories” (707 ). This quote which is associated with women’s silence due toviolence corresponds to Elia’s silence due to the occupation. When women are subjected to violence, they stay silent.Women’s silence in positions that require expression and objection isan evidence that they are wounded. Thus, Elia’s choice to staysilent in his filmis the best way to express the violence he is living.
In addition, Elia’s employment ofsilence in The Time That Remains states the case of alienation and absurditythat he has lived. His silence told us that he suffers from alienation, he isin his land and among his family, but it is difficult for him to communicatewith the others, he stays silent, cannot speak and feels alone, and lives in aland he does not own. The reason for alienation is the occupation and theobstacles it establishes, which makes the Palestinian is alien in his countrythrough checkpoints and the wall that blocks them from moving freely in their land.Nevertheless, These barriers according to Elia have been changed from physical barriers to psychological barriers. Thealienation that he is living makes him cannot speak and stays silent even withhis family.
That’s clear even after he passed the wall, he remained silent.This indicates that his alienation has become a psychological problem that hecan not solve or control. Through silence, he told the audience that he is alienated, and the Palestinians are alienated in their land. Therefore, if he used words and spokenormally it will be difficult for him to convey the idea of alienation, and theviewer will not feel that Elia is alienated. Brightman contends that silenceis a symbolic work about alienation because it breaks down into a series ofdiscernible metaphors due to its defect (5 ). In supporting of Brightmanof Elia’s choice to employ silence to convey the idea ofbeing alienated, Stein declared in one of his articles about the absurd dramathat : The playwright, by introducingsilence, deliberately violates the theatrical canon. Total silence would bedeath to drama. But the silent character (who is, in part, a symbol of death )becomes the play’s dramatic focus.
He is the anti-hero against whom all othercharacters pit their strength. Silence operates on many levels in these plays.The authors are concerned with portraying the alienation of individuals, the breakdown of communicationand the disintegration of language itself. Underlyingthe gaps in conversation and the meaningless repetition is the universal,metaphysical silence, the inexplicable abyss (424 ). Silence in this sense in The TimeThat Remains is experienced as a powerful buffer betweenElia and his society. Silence may create a buffer zone from the usual busynesswith which we are surrounded, we can at any moment choose to be silent for awhile and thus create a space for ourselves in which we canpractice purposeful alienation.
Moreover, his silence plays a crucial role toshow his absurdity, the viewer can see in The Time That Remains that Elia is anabsurd person, he has nothing to accomplish, with no goal in his life, doesnot resist, and does not seek to achieve or complete any work. He juststays silent and observes what the others do. This seems clear through the lastscene in the film when he set on the seat in the hospital watching andlistening to what people do and say. “Her repetition of the phrase emphasizes the absurdity of the situation: she hasnothing to say to the audience, whose attention she demands” (Ferguson, 41).
As the repetition emphasizes absurdity Elia repeated his silence andinsisted to stay silent. Regardless of what Elia meantby using the language of silence, he should prove that silence could be alanguage in the film. ” Silence could make sense after all: it’s been communicated.
The polar personae of thetwo women, locked in a baleful embrace, cancel each other out dramatically “(Brightman, 9 ). Brightman here proves that not just words can make sense, alsosilence can. Someone may speak hundreds of word trying to make someone elseknow what he intends, but he might fail, however, through moments of silencewith feeling and expressions the other can get what he meant. Elia wantedto make the audience understand what he wants,what he feels, and what he says. He did not find these words which can be enough to express histhoughts and feelings, therefore, he used the silence. There is no strongerevidence than the great Charlie Chaplin’s successes since the cinema began,which was a silent cinema, nevertheless, the ideas and lessons that CharlieChaplin wanted to deliver were realized.
Despite that silence has sense,sometimes the actor might fail to embody it, then its embodiment, in this case,will lead to some clear effects like emptiness, boredom, and lack oftranscendental. Silence is a mutual language between all human beings, thelanguage of silence can overcome all languages because silence comes out of thesense, it does not require interpreting, perhaps thiswas one of Elia’s motives for employing the language of silence. In onelanguage, which is the silence language, he managed to convey its feelings to the audience of different nationalities and different languages. He did notabide by a certain speech-language, like English or Arabic because he did notwant the interpreter to translate the sense of what Elia wanted to say, butElia wanted his sense to make so. Ankerich declares what one of thestars of the silent film says about his experience of silent films : Tovar appeared at Fox in small roles in The Veiled Woman and JoyStreet with Lois Moran. ” I liked Lois a lot.
She thought it was cute thatI couldn’t speak English. I was trying so hard. I had an interpreter who toldme what I was supposed to do. Since it was silentfilms, they told me to say whatever I felt like,. SoI did . ” silent films were wonderful because you did not have to worryabout your dialogue and could say anything (221 ). Elia expresses what he feels without a need for words because whatthe Palestinians feel due to occupation, Words cannot describe.
The concepts ofviolence, alienation, and absurdity are wide, and each concept needs a singlecharacter to act their property in the film. In consideration, that Silence isa mutual property between these concepts, Elia concern it to convey his ideaabout these concepts in The Time That Remains. Works Cited.
Ankerich, Micheal G. “The Sound of Silence”. McFarland, 1998.
Brightman, Carol. “The Word, The Image, and The”Silence”.”Film Quarterly, vol.
17, no. 4, 1964, pp3-11. Ferguson, Helen. “Silence andShrieks: Language in Three Films by Kira Muratova.” The Slavonic and East European Review, vol.83, no. 1,2005, pp. 38-70.
Proulx, Patrice J. “Inscriptions ofSilence and Violence in the Antillean Text: Reading Warner- Vieyra’sJuletane and “Sidonie” ” American Association ofTeachers of French, Vol. 70, No. 5 (Apr.1997), pp. 698-709. http://www.
jstor.org/stable/398423 Accessed:20-12-2017 10:37 UTC Stein, K. F. “Metaphysical Silence in Absurd Drama.
“Modern Drama, vol. 13 no. 4, 1970, pp. 423-431. Project MUSE, doi:10.1353/mdr.