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Silence in the Dust

Li Wei

Release year: 2022

Run time: 95 mins

Film type: Documentary


In the late 20th century, Dazhang, followed by his three brothers, goes to coastal Guangdong to find work. Their working conditions in the quartz powder factory prove arduous and dangerous. After working several years, Dazhang meets his wife, who is also working in the area, and together they have three children. Yet, when Dazhang goes to a hospital for an examination, he finds out that he suffers from advanced pneumoconiosis. Dazhang's illness depletes nearly all his family's savings and drains his wife's will to live. The only ones left in the house are the three children, ignorant of the situation; Dazhang, lying on his sickbed; and Dazhang's parents. They all depend on a few pieces of land where they plant vegetables. The film revolves around Dazhang who, because of his illness, is unable to breathe properly, and his family. The middle-aged Dazhang doesn’t want his life to end, but his situation seems hopeless. He places all of his hopes on the next generation, but his children haven't even grasped what the meaning of "future" is. Nevertheless, they move ahead on the road towards the future.


Director biography

Li Wei was born in Fengdu, Chongqing, in 1994, and graduated from Li Xianting Film School. His debut film Enclave won the Independent Spirit Award at the 12th Beijing Independent Film Festival and was selected for the Taiwan International Documentary Film Festival, FIRST Film Festival, and other domestic and foreign film festivals. His works have been collected by New York University, Columbia University, and other institutions. He now lives and works in Chongqing.