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Directed by Patrick Shen

United States 2016 81 mins. In English

Few documentaries (or feature narratives, for that matter), are as meditative and deeply engrossing as In Pursuit of Silence, Shen’s ruminative portrait of several silence-seekers throughout a planet increasingly bombarded by all-encompassing noise. The post-modernist composer John Cage, a man who’s taken a vow of silence and is walking across the US, a sound researcher at Denali National Park in Alaska, a tea master and ecological researcher in Japan and others comprise the film’s interviewees, but Shen’s approach also gives us plenty of space to cultivate silence both in the moment and well after we leave the movie theater. Through a still, gorgeous visual style and enveloping soundtrack, the film is “as much a visual treat as an aural one, [dividing] its time between using the tools of cinema to isolate and enhance the beauty of sounds and silence and exploring different schools of thought on the subject.”—Scott Tobias, NPR.

Genres: Documentary



The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.