In Pursuit of Silence

In Pursuit of Silence


May 23, 2017, 6:30 PM


All Souls Interfaith Gathering
291 Bostwick Farm Road



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VTIFF Presents: In Pursuit of Silence
In partnership with All Souls Interfaith Gathering

Directed by Patrick Shen
USA | 2016 | 81 min
Doors will open at 6pm. Peak sunset will occur as you exit the screening.

A meditative exploration of our relationship with silence, sound and the impact of noise on our lives. Beginning with an ode to John Cage’s ground-breaking composition 4’33”, In Pursuit of Silence takes us on an immersive cinematic journey around the globe– from a traditional tea ceremony in Kyoto, to the streets of the loudest city on the planet, Mumbai during the wild festival season – and instantly inspires us to experience silence and celebrate the wonders of our world.

Director’s Statement

The film was shot and edited in a way that mimics our experience of the world when we are still; you won’t see any crane moves, sweeping drone shots, or pans. The overall rhythm of the film was carefully crafted with the human metabolism in mind.

The film also uses silence’s opposite to invite viewers into a deeper understanding of silence. As Susan Sontag writes, “not only does silence exist in a world full of speech and other sounds, but any given silence takes its identity as a stretch of time being perforated by sound.” What silence also does is it teaches us to be more cognizant of the sounds we do make. As theologian Henri Nouwen writes, “silence teaches us to speak.” When we’re not silent the hope is that silence has taught us to be more careful and thoughtful with the sound we do make, with the sound we lay on top of that silence. The film was created in very much the same way in that every word spoken and every note of music was carefully considered and delicately weaved into the foundation of silence that underlies the entire piece. Ultimately, I hope that the film challenges audiences to slow down and on some level make the world new again for them.