A film by Patrick Wang
2015, 103 minutes
No. 221


From director Patrick Wang, based on Leah Hager Cohen’s critically acclaimed novel. 

The Ryries have suffered a loss: the death of a baby just fifty-seven hours after his birth. Without words to express their grief, the parents, John and Ricky, try to return to their previous lives. The couple's children, ten-year-old Biscuit and thirteen-year-old Paul, responding to the unnamed tensions around them, begin to act out in exquisitely idiosyncratic ways. 

But as the family members scatter into private, isolating grief, an unexpected visitor arrives, and they find themselves growing more alert to the hurt, humor, warmth, and burdens of others—to the grief that is part of every human life but that also carries within it the power to draw us together.

Official Selection, SXSW
Official Selection, Cannes Film Festival
Official Selection, BAM CinemaFest

“Critic's Pick! An artful portrait of a world that refuses the order we try to impose on it when we close ourselves off to heartache, doubt and pain." - Bilge Ebiri, The New York Times

“Evokes a family’s fragile inner life in ineffably moving fashion. Shows remarkable, almost subliminal powers of observation.” - Justin Chang, Variety

“Patrick Wang’s deep-tissue humanism is a treasure worth nurturing in today’s movie community. Wang approaches storytelling through the internal weather of his characters and guides us from isolation and secrets into understanding and connection.” - Robert Abele, LA Times

“At once literary and gently cinematic, The Grief of Others develops a haunting atmosphere that builds to a satisfying conclusion.” - Eric Kohn, Indiewire

“Patrick Wang is slowly becoming the most dependably sensitive and inventive independent filmmaker in America. Allowing the images and performances to burrow into the viewer’s mind, The Grief of Others is about finding a way out of tragedy’s maze and Wang is the perfect guide." - Scout Tafoya, Screen Rant

“A stirring and formally innovative adaptation…bringing formal vibrancy to weighty material.” - Tanner Tafelski, Film Comment

“Magnificent. Wang’s following may be small but invested in his work in a way only those who felt they’ve stumbled upon something special can be." - Stephen Saito, The Moveable Fest