In Pursuit of Silence

In Pursuit of Silence

Patrick Shen (2015)

PG Certificate


Our Score
Drawing on George Prochnik's 2011 book of the same name and opening with a hushed tribute to John Cage's landmark 1952 composition 4'33", this is a frustratingly stuffy and loquacious study of the power and beauty of silence and its importance to our spiritual and physical well-being. Director Patrick Shen visits stunning locations like a Japanese forest and an Alaskan mountain park, and spends some eerie time inside an anechoic chamber and on the road with Yale graduate Greg Hindy, who mutely trekked across America in 2013. But, while the rich imagery and Steve Bissinger's sound design eloquently expose the evils of urban bedlam, Shen affords earnest experts like Prochnik, Helen Lees, Susan Cain, Maggie Ross and Pico Iyer too much time to espouse New Agey truisms and platitudes that disrupt the tranquility without saying anything particularly novel or profound. This is a fascinating subject and Shen's heart is clearly in the right place. But a touch more wit, warmth and wonder would not have gone amiss.

Cast & Crew

Director Patrick Shen

Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Dartmouth FilmsReleased on: 21 Oct 2016