Lara (Tatjana Trieb), an eight year old who can hear, serves as interpreter for her deaf parents Martin (Howie Seago) and Kai (Emmanuelle Laborit) who use sign language with each other. She sacrifices her childhood in service of her parents. However, Lara's life is really opened up when her beautiful and musically talented aunt (Sybille Canonica) gives her a clarinet. This gift is complicated by the fact that her aunt, along with the rest of the family, refuse to use sign language with Martin and Kai.
After years of diligent practice under the eyes of an adoring teacher, 18-year-old Lara (Sylvie Testud) accepts an offer from her aunt to live in Berlin where she can enroll in the conservatory. Lara's coming of age creates a crisis at home compelling her to measure what is in her heart. After years of serving as the mediator in her parents' world, this sensitive young woman slowly learns to listen to the music inside herself.
Caroline Link directs this extraordinary German film which was nominated last year for an Academy Award in the Best Foreign Language Film category. Beyond Silence tutors us in the art of emotional literacy.