I watched a French supernatural thriller with an ingenious device tonight. It's called Ecoute le Temps and stars Emilie DeQuennes, who played the title role in Rossetta, the Palm D'Or winning film by the Dardennes brothers.
Charlotte (DeQuennes) is a young sound engineer who works mostly on nature documentaries. When her mother is murdered, she returns to the rural village where her mother lived and worked--she was a clairvoyant and was considered a witch by many of the villagers. She settles into the decaying family home. Soon she begins to hear snatches of conversation that she realizes have taken place in the past and, using her professional equipment, hoping to solve her mother's murder, she attempts to map the sounds and align them with her mother's acquaintances--the mayor, who owns a fertilizer factory, and his promiscuous wife; an organic farmer; a neighbor's adult son, who's somewhat slow; her father, long divorced from her mother; a couple whose child has vanished.
The solution comes too easily, but it's an eminently watchable film thanks to the direction by Alante Kavaite, which lets the story unwind without overexplaining things, and because of DeQuennes' performance, which is remarkable. She manages to convey so much with her face and body, the film's many dialogue-less, solitary scenes are completely compelling. This one is due for a Hollywood remake to be entitled Fissures, but if I were you I'd catch the original instead.