Empire (UK) - - ON SCREEN - dp

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.

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