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The Things We Hide in Silence

[EN] After a self-exploratory workshop called “Primitive Voice”, Mihai and Octavia decide to engage on a painful and uncomfortable journey towards themselves.
Using their voices in unconventional ways, they both confront memories, emotions and patterns of behaviour which have kept them stuck into their past.
Guided by the voice therapist Jean-René Toussaint and by a strong desire to find their inner freedom, they come to realize that meeting themselves brings them closer to the ones they love.

[RO] În urma unui atelier de explorare personală intitulat “Primitive Voice”, Mihai şi Octavia - doi tineri cu vieți complet diferite, decid să înceapă o inconfortabilă şi dureroasă călătorie către ei înşişi.
De-a lungul acestui proces, folosindu-şi vocea în moduri nemaiîntâlnite de ei până atunci, şi unul şi celalalt se confruntă cu amintiri, emoții şi tipare care i-au ținut ancorați în trecut. Călăuziți de terapeutul Jean-René Toussaint şi de puternica lor dorință de a îşi regăsi libertatea interioară, cei doi ajung să realizeze că, în mod neaşteptat, întâlnirea cu ei înşişi îi aduce mai aproape de cei pe care îi iubesc.

Enter the video gallery

Let your voice do the talking  0:57

Jean-René and Mihai engage in a dialogue without words

Can you open your eyes?  1:38

Mihai, 30 years old, used to be a “genius child”. He used to speak with ease in front of the public, who raved about his talents.

A compliant voice or no voice at all  2:39

Octavia and Jean-René search for what is hidden in her voice

Press kit

Download .pdf file

Director’s statement

Certainly, in this film the voice works as a metaphor of our own self.

Not only because to love your own voice is to love what you are and to listen to yourself. But especially because the voice is a mirror for our repressed emotions, too. It reflects the tension within us and the effort we make to keep everything under control. It is a reflection of our masks.

I do believe that our voice is a mirror, a key to our psyche, as individuals. Each voice says something essential about who we are and, most poignantly, about the person we would like to leave the impression we are in the eyes of the others.

Sometimes, we manage to control our voice, to hide our emotions and our thoughts. But the tensions called upon by this effort keep on dwelling within the voice and in the way we express ourselves. Actually, to a certain extent, the voice betrays us. Even when we think we are in control.

I am profoundly interested in this complexity of the human being, this permanent negotiation between our conscious and unconscious, but also between what we feel and what we allow to be seen on the outside.

How much do we let ourselves be seen by the others? And to what extent those things we make visible or audible about ourselves are the consequence of a conscious decision? To what extent is this the consequence of automatic patterns of behavior, taught behavior? Can that be changed?

I wanted to make a film which would challenge people to question the things they were taught to believe, feel or say. “The proper thing”, “the done deal”, the “should” keep us away not only from ourselves but also from others, because they enable one lie after the other. We feel and we think what we are supposed to, what we were taught that we should in a given situation. We got used to reacting according to beliefs we have inherited from others early on, according to our patterns of defense and we forget to ask ourselves: is this really who I am? Is this fearful person, who cannot say out front, with courage and clarity what they think and feel, is this really me?

This is the challenge that I hope this film will raise, to make us ask ourselves: beyond all these automatic tendencies, who am I really?

Andrei Oană

Director of Photography

Ciprian Cimpoi


Sașa-Liviu Stoianovici

Sound Engineer

Mihai Popa


Octavia-Diana Roman


Jean-René Toussaint

Voice Therapist

Curatorial statement

An insightful foray into the scarred psyche of a whole generation born in the 80’s Romania, at the end of 30 years of communist dictatorship and the dawn of wild eastern capitalism. The collective trauma of communism had a complex, insidious impact on people’s lives on all levels, including at the core of their intimate lives and family bonds. This 80’s generation, now reaching their 30’s to 40’s, find themselves struggling with the shadows of this past.

Two of these young people, poet Mihai and choreographer Octavia get the chance to participate in a self-exploratory workshop called “Primitive Voice”, where together with the French trainer-therapist Jean-René Toussaint, they look into deblocking old defense mechanisms and fears that stop them from being free, express themselves and grow. This process triggers for each of them a journey of self-discovery, both uncomfortable and healing. They take a walk down the memory lane, to understand what might have “crippled” their voice and inner freedom, and to reconnect with their authentic selves and feelings.

Shifting poetically between past and present, between the protagonists’ inner worlds and their daily challenges in re-learning how to connect with the closed ones and yet to also preserve their own healthy boundaries, the film follows this transformative process with sensitivity and patience, with astute intuition and grace, up to final moments of subtle yet empowering “blooming”.
In the classical observational vein, the film is deeply engaging and craftly made, and has a human depth and relevance which might have a meaningful impact on the younger generations interested in self-reflexion and personal growth.


Rulează la #TIFF2021

Premiera mondială are loc la Cluj-Napoca, în cadrul Festivalului Internațional de Film Transilvania (TIFF), ediția cu numărul 20.

Miercuri, 28 iulie 2021, ora 22:00
UBB Open Air
Vineri, 30 iulie 2021, ora 10:00
Cinema Victoria