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Review: Dust

Resistance is futile, make the most of it
By PETER KEOUGH  |  May 19, 2009
3.0 3.0 Stars


VIDEO: The trailer for Dust

German documentarian Hartmut Bitomsky (whose fine B-52 can be also seen this week, Thursday at the Harvard Film Archive) likes to make movies about how things are put together and how they come apart. His 2007 Dust (German title Staub) gets down to basics, examining the particulate that's the fundamental building block and by-product of just about everything, from the grain in film grain to the vast clouds of exploding stars that are constantly recycling into new stars.

A collection of wry profiles of experts and tyros obsessed with the subject, the film shows us how dust is used (pigments for paint, material for oddball sculptures) and abused (asbestos released from razing a huge government building in Berlin that is a relic of the Communist regime). It ponders how dust is created and removed; in the latter case, as the narrator points out to a cleaning-obsessed woman, resistance is futile.

Best to make the most of it, as this film certainly does.

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