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zhao yanbin

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remaining silent / 保持静默

16mm to digital, 13:00, 2022

Made in 2021 in Shanghai, the film Remaining Silent captures the last days of historical neighborhoods before they were confiscated and renovated for modern commercial use. The neighborhoods are decades-long residencies for many local Shanghainese as well as migrant workers. As a brief encounter at the moment of departure, this film is a final portrait for the decaying architectures and an elegy for the anonymous.

"Choosing a silent film not for the sake of a nostalgic aesthetic, but because in a neighborhood that is about to be destroyed there is simply nothing left to say. Sound involves change and life, and its absence here is a clear evidence of a wound. Then, the image becomes a dying trace, in which something happens anyway in the dim light, between some beams, behind the glass of a window, in a trickle of dirty water. If the man is still there, he is backlit, he is a dark spot on a sepia background, while the ruins are exposed to everyone’s sight. To catch a glimpse of what will be in the future, let’s look at a puddle surrounded by what remains: the image dissolves in the roar of the rain, which, like everything else, remains silent."

--Laterale Film Festival



screening: REDCAT CalArts Showcase, Los Angeles, US, 2022

Laterale Film Festival, Cosenza, Italy, 2022

Tacoma Film Festival, Tacoma, US, 2022

award: Best Cinematography Documentary Short, Tacoma Film Festival, 2022

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