IN PURSUIT OF SILENCE
OUT 21 october / CERT tbc / 81 mins director Patrick Shen cast George Prochnik, Pico Iyer, Helen Lees, Susan Cain
THE modern WORLD can be a stressful and hectic place to exist in. Yet, while documentarian Patrick Shen’s assembled talking heads spout statistics and platitudes about the benefits of tranquillity and the health threats posed by urban uproar, they struggle to focus on how human society has neglected its relationship with a sense once crucial to its survival. Riffing on soundless music, mute students and tea ceremonies, Shen captures some serene vistas with affecting reverence. But this thoughtful meditation lacks a sufficiently tangible feeling of the spiritual and psychological pleasure that silence can bring, and offers no suggestion as to how we got here or if the situation can be reversed.