Germany/Switzerland, 2007, 89 minutes
Sat, May 3 / 1:00 / PFA / DUST03P
Mon, May 5 / 6:15 / Kabuki / DUST05K
Wed, May 7 / 4:15 / Kabuki / DUST07K
Whether it’s a museum employee painstakingly keeping precious statues pristine, a housewife compulsively waging a weekly war in the cracks and crevices of her home or the woman who finds innate beauty in the soot sprites she mounts on her wall, Hartmut Bitomsky’s fascinated and fascinating film—through an ample and odd assortment of impassioned testimonials, interlaced with choice archival footage—investigates the myriad forms dust can take, how it affects all of us and how we affect it. Almost everywhere and always around, dust creeps into the corners of history as far back as the origins of the universe. And while dust from exploding stars can create solar systems—indeed, created organic life—these same small particles can have devastating effects when they take the form of fallout from weapons or the airborne debris from the destruction of the World Trade Center on September 11. As scientists study the harmful effects of breathing in this dust, and businessmen work to find ways to cleanse the compromised air, others are collecting and examining dust to learn about the past. Still others are so fascinated by the cyclical nature of dust that they look for ways to capture its beauty in art. Bitomsky’s whimsical, inquisitive film, a natural history of the nearly invisible, is captivated by its protean subject, and so becomes both informative and mesmerizing.
This film is competing for a Golden Gate Award. Presented with support from Goethe-Institut San Francisco. Sponsored by San Simeon Films.