What happens when we stop listening? Why is the only possible security in trust? Is it possible to mend relationships when a rift occurs in a family or friendship? How important is music to the film? What is it like to create in Germany, where you have lived for 17 years? In our conversation, Hanna Slak, a Slovenian director, went into the depths and layers of her films, into the power of music and into her childhood, where she already helped in editing at the age of seven.
He observes that a certain process is taking place both in the relations between people and in society, in which we are increasingly trained in the skill of speaking, but not in the skill of listening. “We are changing from a society of dialogue to a society of monologue,” he says Hanna Slak in the N1 podcast. One person is speaking and the other is ostensibly listening, but in reality the person listening is just waiting for their turn for their own monologue. “There is a lack of listening.” What are the consequences of this development for relationships? And what kind for society? How does this lead to extremes?
Hanna Slak’s film Not a Word (Kein Wort) was part of the Ljubljana International Film Festival in recent days, and had its world premiere at the last International Film Festival in Toronto. A multifaceted film about the consequences of violence, even that which is not experienced directly, but creates trauma; about the relationship between a mother and a teenager; about the consequences of not talking. In the podcast, we talk about all these topics, but also about film language, the use of music in the film… Passion, fury, tenderness, joy, sadness… all this is in Mahler’s 5th symphony, which is part of the film. What is it like to make films in German, with German actors? What role did the conductor play in this film Long live Ploj Peršuh? What is all intertwined?
Hanna Slak first got to know films from the other side; she first knew that they were being made, only then that they were being watched in the cinema – her father was a famous director Franci Slakthe mother is a respected sound designer Hanna Preuss. How can a man save another man; how from darkness to light? What does Germany not recommend to Slovenia? What is she most interested in now? What are the conditions for female directors? “Democracy can only live on the truth,” he warns in the N1 podcast, among other things. And also: “Let’s not let go of those who think differently than us.” The entire, hour-long conversation about her work, films, life journey and insights is available to you in the video above. You will also find out what he means when he condenses his thoughts into one powerful sentence: “The answer is conversation.”