Blast of Silence ★★★★★

Another brilliant discovery thanks to Sean's list of alternative Christmas films.

This is at once a blistering noir thriller propelled by hate, and an achingly sad elegy for a lost and lonely life, made all the more poignant for being set at Christmas – and it's such a beautiful Christmas, full of twinkling lights and shops festooned with tinsel and bustling streets, all filmed in stunning black and white. (Hard to believe this was shot guerilla-style with no permits and for almost no budget; it looks incredible.)

Allen Baron's hardened hitman moves through the world accompanied by pitch-perfect hard-boiled narration in voiceover, and the film is bookended by two mirrored sets of lines that are absolutely crushing. Two days later and I'm still reeling.

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