Death by Design

China | 2016 | 73 minutes | Sue Williams

With the world addicted to constantly shrinking electronic devices, unintended consequences have come to the fore, including deadly environmental and health issues that are approaching the tipping point between consumerism and sustainability.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

  • Purchased Tickets
  • Limited Availability
  • On Standby
  • Matinee

SIFF Cinema Uptown

12:30 PM Date has passed SOn Standby Director Sue Williams, Producers Victoria Wang, Hilary Steinman, Nusha Balyan scheduled to attend

Sunday, May 22, 2016

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  • Limited Availability
  • On Standby
  • Matinee

Lincoln Square Cinemas

6:00 PM Date has passed SOn Standby Director Sue Williams, Producers Victoria Wang, Hilary Steinman, Nusha Balyan scheduled to attend

How many electronic devices do you have? How often do you upgrade your phone? What do you do with your old electronic devices? The answers may not mean much to the average consumer, but they point to a worldwide disaster that is bigger than any one person's relation to their smartphone. The cataclysmic effects of massive industrialization are impossible to ignore: Companies discharge waste into lakes and rivers, poisoning populations that can do little to fight back; employees at manufacturing plants suffer from poor working conditions and punishingly low pay, leading many to attempt suicide; defunct electronic equipment is hazardously deposited in rural Asian communities, leading to enormous amounts of pollution. Death by Design seeks to open your eyes to the environmental and human cost of the Information Age by checking in on experts and civilians alike around the world, most notably chronicling lawsuits in Silicon Valley and New York that sought damages from cancer-causing companies, and exclusive footage from the inside of Foxconn, a city-sized production base in Shenzhen, China. But all is not necessarily lost, as the documentary spotlights such companies as iFixit, the world's largest online repair manual, run by two "reluctant capitalists," and Dublin-based iAMECO, which assembles computers out of wood and other recycled materials.

Director Biography
Sue Williams is an American director and producer, though her films often take an international theme and interest, particularly in China. She's written, directed, and produced several documentaries covering the Chinese Revolution and subsequent years under Mao as well as TV pieces surrounding famous figures of American history.

Sponsored by China Stars, WASA North America Group, Center for Global Studies UW, The Seattle Times

  • Director: Sue Williams
  • Principal Cast: Ted Smith, Ma Jun, Kyle Wiens, Luke Soules, Paul Maher
  • Premiere Status: World Premiere
  • Country: China, Ireland
  • Year: 2016
  • Running Time: 73 minutes
  • Producer: Hilary Klotz Steinman, Sue Williams
  • Screenplay: Sue Williams
  • Cinematographers: Sam Shinn
  • Editors: Adam Zucker
  • Music: Paul Brill
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Filmography: Debut Feature Film
  • Language: English
  • Format: DCP