The Other Side of Silence
by Andre Brink
As a small child in a wintry Bremen Hanna starts dreaming about the other side of silence, the place where the wind comes from and palm trees wave in ... Show synopsis As a small child in a wintry Bremen Hanna starts dreaming about the other side of silence, the place where the wind comes from and palm trees wave in the sun. She sees her chance to escape from years of abuse in the orphanage and in service by joining one of the shiploads of young women transported in the early years of the twentieth century to the colony of German South-West Africa to assuage the needs of the male settlers. Atrocious punishment for daring to resist the advances of an army officer lands her in a fantasmagoric refuge in the African desert - 'prison, nunnery, brothel, shithouse, Frauenstein'. When the drunken excesses of a visiting army detachment threaten the young girl Katja who has become her only companion, Hanna revolts. Mounting a ragtag army of female and native victims of colonial brutality, she sets out on an epic march through the desert to take on the might of the German Reich. This apocalyptic journey through the darker regions of the soul will also reveal to her the hidden meanings of suffering, revenge, companionship, love, and compassion.