Touch in Silence of the Lambs

The 1991 classic Silence of the Lambs lacks an ingredient most films wouldn’t think of going without: a romantic subplot. But it’s still a great example of the impact of touch.

In today’s films and television, sex scenes abound and are usually trite and gratuitous. But through most of Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal is isolated from Clarice by the Plexiglas wall of his prison cell. Even passing documents through a drawer is a tense procedure. Thus, the moment when their fingers touch through the bars of another cell is both powerful and surprising.

What does touch mean in your story? Is it a comfort or a threat? Does it indicate trust or manipulation? Can you make a handshake or a kiss more powerful?

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