In Pursuit of Silence is a meditative exploration of our relationship with silence, sound and the impact of noise on our lives. Beginning with an ode to John Cage’s ground-breaking composition 4'33", In Pursuit of Silence takes us on an immersive cinematic journey around the globe– from a traditional tea ceremony in Kyoto, to the streets of the loudest city on the planet, Mumbai during the wild festival season – and inspires us to experience silence and celebrate the wonders of our world.
My name is Andrew Brumme.
I’m an American filmmaker based in France.
My filmmaking journey has always been a very personal one, as documentaries allow me to grapple with issues that matter deeply to me.
Currently, I’m directing a documentary series on the intersection of food and faith called Taste and See. The series explores the spirituality of food with farmers, chefs, butchers, winemakers (and more) who are engaging with food as a profound gift from God.
Taste and See is giving me space to explore my love of both food and God, and I’m hoping the series will resonate with both foodies and the spiritually-inclined. It seems to me that many foodies are hungry for meaning behind the delicious ingredients they celebrate, and many people of faith struggle to connect their eating to God. I think the material and the spiritual are intimately linked, and that premise is at the heart of this project.
The first spark for the series came when I read Robert Farrar Capon’s The Supper of the Lamb. The book opened my eyes to the beauty, mystery, wonder and delight to be found in all things related to food. I’ve since been on a journey exploring the profound spiritual meaning in everything connected to a meal around the table.
Most recently, I served as Producer on the feature documentary In Pursuit of Silence, a meditative and experiential film about silence, sound and the impact of noise on our lives. My involvement in the film grew out of my desire to rediscover the practices of Sabbath, solitude and silence as part of my Christian faith. The experience making the film was a part of why we relocated to the tranquil French countryside with our three young kids (though the neighbor’s roosters are pretty loud).
I’m biased, but I think In Pursuit of Silence is a beautiful film, and director Patrick Shen did a masterful job. It’s a tough world for independent documentaries, so we were proud when the film premiered at SXSW and then was released theatrically in the UK, USA, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and Japan. Some folks at the LA Times, New York Times, The Guardian, The Times and The Telegraph even said nice things about it.
Prior to that, I had my first Producer role on the feature documentary It’s a Girl, looking at gendercide – the targeted killing of girls because of their gender. It was a heavy and controversial topic (did someone say abortion?), and I had to work under a pseudonym given some of the sensitivities involved. I spearheaded the marketing and distribution, and the film helped fuel a grassroots movement with literally hundreds of screenings worldwide. Higher profile screenings took place at the European Parliament, British Parliament, and with the U.S. Congress on Capitol Hill. The film was also distributed on Netflix.
My early experience in the film world was marketing films to the faith and family audience including Ben Stein’s 2008 documentary, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, and Disney’s 2005 blockbuster, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
There’s one film project that got away from me. In 2012, the North Korean Symphony Orchestra was going to tour major cities in the U.S., and we were poised to make a film about it. We even took a scouting trip to Pyongyang and interviewed the conductor and some of the musicians. But weeks later, Kim Jong-il died and, as a result, the whole project fell apart. The vision behind the tour had been to humanize North Koreans and help change the narrative to center on the people of North Korea rather than its nuclear weapons. The organizers wanted to let real Americans meet real North Koreans, and I’m convinced it would have been a gripping film. It remains the biggest disappointment of my filmmaking career.
I make films part-time given the commercial realities of independent filmmaking. I also work in communications for a non-profit organization called the Lausanne Movement, a TED-style think tank and network of diverse Christian leaders from every nation around the globe. Lausanne holds periodic gatherings and at one of them, I met a feisty French interpreter named Esther. A year later, we were married and on our way to live in China and start our marriage in a third culture (neither her’s nor mine).
I grew up in the U.S., and Esther was born in Switzerland to a British mother and an American father, then grew up in France. She’s what you’d call a ‘third culture kid’, which means you shouldn’t ask where she is from unless you really want to know. Intercultural communication is her life’s blood. She blogs about cross-cultural life and parenting, leads the children’s program at our international church, and is the world’s greatest mother to our own three third culture kids. Her happy place is trail running, mine is gardening. And we’re living with an abundance of gratitude.