Deaf teenager Chang Cheng transfers to a school for children with special needs. However, the world of the hearing-impaired doesn’t seem quiet at all. When Chang witnesses the “game” taking place in the last row on the school bus, his excitement about blending into a new environment immediately turns into fear.
It is extremely important to be reminded that The Silent Forest is based on a true story, which is way beyond imagination and comprehension. It deals with a sexual abuse scandal at National Tainan Special School in Taiwan, with about 300 victims and offenders including students and staff members. The Silent Forest starts from an incident that Chang Cheng, a hearing-impaired boy, transfers to a school for hearing-impaired students and notices sexual abuse happening in the last row on the school bus. As he learns more about the school, he finds that the sexual abuse is deep-rooted and widespread. Apparently, the abuse seems to occur among students. In fact, the teachers, who have been abusing the students sexually and physically, have triggered the massive sexual assault. The film reveals that “the silent forest” established by the staff caused this tragedy, and the revelations are more than persuasive. We find a boy who takes responsibility for his friends and is not afraid to sacrifice himself. This young boy makes a sharp contrast with the irresponsible adults. The story is unfolded mostly in sign language, but it leaves an impressive echo. (MOON Seok)
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