In Pursuit of Silence explores the human relationship to noise and sound and examines the importance of silence.
Taking John Cage’s 4’33” as it’s reference point, In Pursuit of Silence asks us to reexamine our acoustic surroundings. Like Cage has done with 4’33”, director Patrick Shen has created an intelligent work that raises important questions about how we perceive our everyday surroundings. Shen has created a complex web of connections, linking urbanization and the increase in mechanical noise directly to elevated stress and other health concerns.
Shen is careful to consider all the aspects of silence. He talks with philosophers, musicians, health care professionals, scientists, religious figures and tea ceremony experts to create an intricate portrait of how societies define and perceive silence.
Shen clearly has an agenda with this film, but he presents the facts in a measured and seemingly impartial manner. This makes In Pursuit of Silence the perfect tool to get people to start to think about the importance of silence and the toll of constant aural stimulation.