Dark Matter

Director: Chen Shi-Zheng
Screenwriters: Billy Shebar

Institute History


Liu Xing (Liu Ye), a humble, but brilliant, Chinese student, arrives at Valley State University and makes a bumpy transition into American life with the help of Joanna Silver (Meryl Streep), a wealthy university patron who takes a liking to the young student. Liu joins a select cosmology group under the direction of his hero, the famous cosmologist Jacob Reiser (Aidan Quinn). The group is working to create a model of the origins of the universe, based on Reiser's theory. Liu's enormous talent leads him quickly to become Reiser's protégé, and it seems that only hard work stands between him and a bright future in American science. But Liu is obsessed with the study of dark matter, an unseen substance that he believes shapes the universe and a theory that conflicts with the Reiser model. When Liu begins to make scientific breakthroughs of his own, he starts to encounter unexpected obstacles.

Liu Ye turns in a powerful performance as a passionate young scientist whose rising star must confront the dark forces of politics, ego, and cultural insensitivity. Inspired by a true event, Dark Matter, Chen Shi-Zheng's impressive first feature, is a rare and fascinating window into the story of science as it often plays out in real life.

— Shari Frilot

Screening Details

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