68 minutes, 2013

Texts/TalksImages | Video

A man returns, after fifty years, to Chinatown to care for his dying mother. He is a librarian, a cataloguer and recorder, a gay man, a watcher, an impersonator. He passes his time collecting images - his witnesses and collaborators. Sitting in the dark, we look at them and share his cloak of invisibility, both a benefit and a curse.

TOUCH is an essay narrated from one man's point of view. But it is also fiction, for this man is a made-up person, an amalgam of research, interviews, off-the-record comments, secrets, improbabilities, and free-floating desires. This man, who never tells us his name, returns as both insider and outsider to a neighborhood from which he escaped, as a teenager, as fast as he could.

"I want to focus on the act - particular, yet open-ended - that entrances my protagonist: an act that we, the audience, share with him. This is the act of watching. Looking. Seeing. What does it mean to look, to watch, to photograph, to film?'  S. Silver

written, directed, edited: Shelly Silver  
voiceover: Lu Yu
assistant editor: Cassandra Guan
editing consultant: Ed Bowes
translation: Jinghua Wang, Cassandra Guan, Fu Ying, Jeremy Chien
voiceover recordist: Eric Offin, Perry Levy, Gigantic Sound
sound mix: Bill Serry, Mercer Media
archival material: The National Archive, The Museum of Chinese in America

selected exhibitions
Rotterdam International Film Festival - Spectrum (World Premiere)
Cinéma du Réel (French Premiere)
Simon Preston Gallery, NYC
OUTFEST, Los Angeles
REDCAT, Los Angeles
UnionDocs, NYC
Anthology Film Archives, NYC
Jihlava International Documentary Festival, Czech Replublic MARFICI, Mar del Plata, Argentina
Silent Green, Berlin, Germany
Dirty Looks, Union Docs, NYC

Prix Patrimoine de l'immatériel/The Intangible Heritage Award by the Ministry of Culture and Communication/Cinéma du Réel

Special Mention, International Competition Jury/Cinéma du Réel

\aut\FILM Award for Best LGBT Film, Ann Arbor Film Festival