Combustible Celluloid
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Written by: Hartmut Bitomsky
Directed by: Hartmut Bitomsky
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Language: German with English subtitles
Running Time: 90
Date: 03/18/2013

Dust (2008)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

A Report from SFIFF

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL: Hartmut Bitomsky's documentary Dust takes an active approach at avoiding the current non-fiction rut. It takes a glance at dust and asks some hard questions about what it is, where it comes from, what can we do about it, and how it is slowly killing us all. The film interviews a fanatical, clean-freak housewife (she takes apart her TV set and soaks the panels in her tub), a crew of specialists who dust statues in a museum, artists and scientists who study dust in its various forms. It muses on the elusive nature of dust: it depends on humans for its existence, but it can't settle and grow with humans around. The film is full of fascinating tidbits, but in skirting documentary conventions, it fails to nail down anything definite. It's not quirky, nor is it exactly cautionary. It casually mentions all the various forms of lethal stuff we could be breathing at any moment, in any part of the world, and then ends with a shrug.

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