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Jennifer Baichwal follows the much acclaimed Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky while he travels the globe shooting landscapes transformed through commercial recycling, manufacturing and industrial production. The film not only captures the astonishing transformations in the landscape but also examines the social repercussions of these changes.
One of the better documentaries I have seen. It manages to be both socially relevant and provogative, and also very artistic. That seems like quite an accomblishment to me. It did drag on a bit though.
"Manufactured Landscapes" is a moderately interesting documentary about Edward Burtynsky who specializes in taking photographs of industry and manufacturing in an attempt to warn against the environmental depletion of the planet. The film itself is mainly focused on China which is in the process of transforming itself from an agrarian society to an industrial power. There are consequences to this course of action, especially in the displacement of the population and increased pollution.
As urgent as "Manufactured Landscapes" might try to be, there is little here that we have not seen before.(The exception being the shipwreck beach in Bangladesh which itself could have been the setting for an entire documentary.) Yes, that's a truly awesome trackintg shot that opens the movie but it does little to capture the scale of a factory(and I've been in buildings that large, anyway) and actually becomes a game of seeing which workers notice the camera. Likewise, there have been other films that have covered the Three Gorges Dam in greater detail.
January 16, 2012
A worthy effort and the creation of artificial ugly landscapes is something worth viewing if not quite enjoyable. Baichwal however has a history of taking an interesting topic and adding a layer of dullness in ultimate presentation.
Phenomenally beautiful. It goes much deeper than An Inconvenient Truth, but it can do that because it's not about stuffing a message down our throats. It's about art, and everyone is entitled to interpret it in their own way. One of the best documentaries I've seen.
GATT/NAFTA will come back to visit us all in ways which we can't imagine now. China is far worse off because of greed and exploitation of their people and their land. So are many people and towns in Mexico and Central America.