About the Film
In March of this year, Death by Design premiered at The University of Hong Kong to a capacity audience. It returns by demand in a special encore presentation.
Consumers love – and live on – their smartphones, tablets and laptops. A cascade of new devices pours endlessly into the market, promising even better communication, non-stop entertainment and instant information. The numbers are staggering. By 2020, four billion people will have a personal computer. Five billion will own a mobile phone.
But this revolution has a dark side, hidden from most consumers. In an investigation that spans the globe, filmmaker Sue Williams investigates the underbelly of the electronics industry and reveals how even the smallest devices have deadly environmental and health costs. From the intensely secretive factories in China, to a ravaged New York community and the high tech corridors of Silicon Valley, the film tells a story of environmental degradation, of health tragedies, and the fast approaching tipping point between consumerism and sustainability.
About the Director
Sue Williams formed Ambrica Productions to produce documentaries of international scope and interest. Contemporary China, which features prominently in Death by Design, has always been a special focus for her. She wrote, produced and directed the six-hour CHINA Trilogy- China in Revolution, The Mao Years, and Born under the Red Flag - which explored the turbulent social and political history of 20th century China. All aired as national specials on PBS to great critical acclaim and have been broadcast in over 25 countries. Sue also directed two highly praised biographies - Eleanor Roosevelt and Mary Pickford - for the PBS series, American Experience. Her films have appeared in festivals around the world and won numerous awards, including the 2016 Boston Globe Filmmaker Fund Award, Cine Golden Eagles, International Film & Video Festival Awards, and two Edgar Dale Awards for Best Screenwriting.
CRF Project “Making Modernity in East Asia: Technologies of Everyday Life, 19th – 21st Centuries” (RGC CRF The University of Hong Kong C7011-16G), Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences, The University of Hong Kong