ATLFF 2016: In Pursuit of Silence

In Pursuit of Silence

Running Time: 
81 minutes

We live in an increasingly fast paced society where we demand that everything be delivered quickly and efficiently. The frenzied hustle of everyday life creates a lot of noise all around us, and sometimes is necessary to just take a step back from it all and relish in the quiet silence of nature. In Pursuit of Silence is an experimental documentary that attempts to discover what silence truly is and why it’s important to disconnect with the noise of society.


The documentary reminds me a lot of the 2011 film Samsara, which tells its story through nonverbal meditation by relying on the images on screen rather than words. In Pursuit of Silence does the same with its numerous vistas of interesting locations ranging from nature to the city. These lingering shots have no words and instead rely only on the natural sounds that come from any given environment. The imagery is stunning, and the “silence” of nature is ear-opening. It’s rather relaxing and even a bit therapeutic.


It’s not all a silent film, however. Like any other documentary there are interviews with experts in the field who discuss silence and how our society has grown to become an ever increasing sphere of noise. Whenever a new location is shown, we’re also given the average decibel level associated with it to give audiences an idea of just how loud things are. I personally would have loved to see the film be nothing but silent nature shots, but the standard documentary reporting of it does bring up a good point. Unfortunately it does feel like noise at times and can interrupt the silence of other scenes.


In Pursuit of Silence is a strong reminder that it’s beneficial and oftentimes necessary to disconnect from the noise that constantly surrounds us. It’s a beautifully shot film that speaks the loudest in its quietest moments.

Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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