A visually beautiful tale of forbidden love in a Mennonite community in Mexico, from one of the most unusual talents in 21st-century world cinema.

Stills must not be reproduced, copied or downloaded in any way. Hard copies of some images can be bought via the BFI Printstore and the complete collection can be accessed for commercial reuse via BFI Stills.

Film details

Alternative titles

  • SILENT LIGHT Alternative
  • LUZ SILENCIOSA Alternative

Cast & Credits


“I was amazed by Silent Light... most of all by Carlos Reygadas’s extraordinarily rich sense of cinema, evident in every frame. A surprising picture, and a very moving one as well.”
Martin Scorsese, 2008

Carlos Reygadas’s third film, an austere story of love and faith, is both set among the Mennonites of northern Mexico and performed by many of them.

Johan (Cornelio Wall Fehr), a married farmer and father of six, has been having an affair with Marianne (Maria Pankratz) with the tacit knowledge of his wife Esther (Miriam Toews). This precipitates a crisis of faith with mortal and spiritual ramifications, documented in watchful, painstaking takes.

Following the lead of masters such as Bresson and Dreyer, Reygadas draws considerable power from the plainness of his inexperienced cast. Their uncoached grace is as affecting in its own way as the long opening and closing shots depicting respectively the dawn and dusk as daily miracles.

Silent Light has been compared to Carl Dreyer’s Ordet (1954), also set in an austere religious community. Reygadas first attracted acclaim with his debut Japón (2001).

Latest from the BFI

  • Latest from the BFI

    Latest news, features and opinion.

More information

Films, TV and people

  • Films, TV and people

    Film lists and highlights from BFI Player.

More information

Sight & Sound magazine

  • Sight & Sound magazine

    Reviews, interviews and features from the international film magazine.

More information

Back to the top