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Ibiza: The Silent Movie (2019)

Charts the history of the island Ibiza, leading to its current status as the clubbing capital of the world.


Julien Temple


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Cast overview:
Bez Bez ... Bes
Claire Davis Claire Davis ... Tanit
Cathal Smyth Cathal Smyth ... Hausmann


Charts the history of the island Ibiza, leading to its current status as the clubbing capital of the world.

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Release Date:

5 July 2019 (UK) See more »


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Did You Know?


References F for Fake (1973) See more »


The Deejay's an Alien
Written by Roland Clark and David Harness
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User Reviews

Not as Clever as it Thinks
10 August 2019 | by silvio-mitsubishiSee all my reviews

An attempt to tell the history of Ibiza from its first colonisation to the present day. It comes off as an extended music video that they forgot to add music to. Real ancient history is ditched in favour of a tourist-friendly tale, and it is sometimes difficult to understand what the film is trying to say, particularly around World War Two and the Spanish Civil War. The role of fascist rulers in the evolution of club culture is mentioned in passing but left me wanting more.

The film returns repeatedly to the indigenous residents, with clips of them using ancient agricultural methods, but is never explored. Local people are interviewed for less than one minute, despite the fact they have been there far longer than the night clubs. Apart from salt and olive oil, I still have no idea what the locals lived on before tourism.

In silent movie style, the commentary is restricted to a few caption boards. For some reason, the makers left yawning time gaps between these, even when up to three three formed one complete sentence. The result was that a group of words often had no real meaning until the next group appeared, by which time the first group, without context, was largely forgotten.

Someone had clearly made an effort to find old and new footage, plus clips from other films about the island, but they did not follow a narrative path. Many interesting stories were touched on but immediately abandoned in favour of more dance scenes. What was the result of the destruction of Phoenecian artifacts by builders? Did Raoul Haussmann discover more, or were we to think he faked them? To what extent did former senior Nazis find refuge there?

I watched to the end, but only as one would 'listen' to music in lifts. It was more interesting than staring at a wall, but I cannot say I learned very much. I have a few things I will now research myself, but even short answers to my questions would have elevated this film into something more. Ibiza, the island, was simply a McGuffin to frame a film about the evolution of dance music and club culture, and a shallow explanation at that.

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