Beneath the ruin of a medieval fortress lives a deaf-mute forrester. He is alone and spends his time by making drawings of the beautiful landscapes surrounding him. He uses a telescope, allowing him to draw close-ups and silhouettes from a distance.
The forrester’s quiet life takes a turn when a truck carrying building material arrives and a modern house is constructed.
The new house is inhabited by a painter and his attractive wife. The forrester becomes obsessed by the woman and stares at her using his telescope. Doing this he observes his new neighbours and is intrigued by the construction of the house and the strange manners of it’s residents; a painter who decided to isolate himself and uses his wife as his only model.
Jan Gruyaert’s In kluis is a film with distinct form, without dialogue, vivid colours, near-silent (though with a musical score by Koen de Bruyne and a minimal sound design), and a world seen through the eyes of the lone forrester. Observation, voyeurism, incomprehension and loneliness are the chief elements based on a speechless background.
The film has no dialogue, so no subtitles are needed.