The emotional ghosts of the past are the driving force of the melodramatic The Price for Silence. Our first images of protagonist Kira Flynn (Lynn Mancinelli) make it clear that she is suffering PTSD centered in the emotional wounds of rape. It is not just her recurring dreams about the rape, but also her behavior, which includes detachment from nearly everyone, even while being very sexually active.
When she returns home for her father’s funeral, the dynamics between her and her mother (Kristin Carey) show years of animosity. Kira and her brother Lucas (Emrhys Cooper) seem to have a good relationship, but she continues to act out her pains in many inappropriate and self-destructive ways. When, at her mother’s request, her father’s friend, Richard Davenport (Richard Thomas), is asked to say a few words at the wake, Kira obviously is upset by his presence.
As the film plays out, the Flynn family must struggle with all the emotions that have grown out of long held secrets. Those emotions overwhelm the grief that the family is going through and is expressed in a variety of scenes built around passive-aggressive as well as openly aggressive actions. This is a family that has been unhappy for many years. It is not clear that they will ever be able to heal the rifts between them.
By the end of the film I felt like I’d watched a two-hour soap opera. It was a story based in bad behavior among one-dimensional characters who were never really fleshed out. By the time the story gets to its denouement, it has nowhere to go but to violence that feels too much like revenge to be justified. That motif is heightened by the final scene that makes reference to a very minor plot point that has not been resolved, but we see the possibility of yet another damaging interaction.
The theme of the film about the festering emotional wounds that people carry has potential for exploration, but The Price for Peace doesn’t deal so much with the possibility of healing as it does with the suffering itself.