The Art of Silence

Art, Jewish Film, Jewish Highlights, Europe
Maurizius Staerkle Drux
81/52 minutes


Release year: 2022
Countries of Origin: Switzerland, Germany
Languages: French, English, German
Original title: L'art du silence
Genre: Documentary


World Premiere
Hot Docs, Artscapes
34th Annual Boston Jewish Film Festival
Miami Jewish Film Festival (MJFF), Documentary Competition

Official Selection
Slamdance, Break-outs Competition
World Community Film Festival
Sacramento Jewish Film Festival
Belleville Downtown DocFest
Martha's Vineyard Film Festival
Seattle Jewish Film Festival
Annapolis Film Festival
Vienna Jewish Film Festival



Marcel Marceau is undoubtedly the world’s most famous mime. Audiences know and love him in the striped shirt, his face covered in white make-up, his battered silk hat, and his iconic red flower. He mesmerized people around the globe. But the tragic background of his work remained hidden for a long time.

After his father was killed in Auschwitz, Marceau joined the French Resistance and began smuggling Jewish children across the border to safety in Switzerland. With gestures and mimes, he taught the children to communicate in silence in dangerous situations. After the war, Marceau transformed himself into a unique artist and a master of a new art form. He toured the world for over 40 years.

THE ART OF SILENCE is the first feature-length documentary about Marcel Marceau and his work, which inspired and accompanied several generations of artists - and lives on to this day. Anne Sicco, Marceau’s wife, directed the mime school, among other things, and continues Marceau’s legacy. Grandson Louis Chevalier is forging his own path as a dancer, inspired by the work of his mother Camille Marceau and her sister Aurélia.

Rob Mermin went to Marceau’s school, he became a world- renowned clown. Since his Parkinson’s diagnosis, he has been using mime to communicate perspectives beyond the disease. Christoph Staerkle is the director’s father and has been deaf since birth. He has found his own form of expression through mime.

In his third documentary, Swiss filmmaker Maurizius Staerkle Drux combines exclusive archive material from Marceau’s multi- faceted life with a contemporary look at the art of silence.


Maurizius Staerkle Drux was born in Cologne in 1988 and grew up in Zurich. In 2012 he graduated in film directing at the ZHdK, specializing in sound design. His debut film THE BÖHM FAMILY – CONCRETE LOVE was shown in over 30 countries and won multiple awards. Since 2017, he has been imparting his passion for film and sound, as a lecturer at the Zurich University of the Arts.

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