Manufactured Landscapes (2007)
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Critic Reviews for Manufactured Landscapes
An astonishing visual indictment of man's inhumanity to Mother Earth, as seen through the documentary prism of Jennifer Baichwal.
What the film does well is to make us part of the problem: After all we demand the lowest prices in everything we buy and that probably means it was made in China.
Canadian fine art photographer Edward Burtynsky shoots the recycling dumps, superfactories, vast quarries and shipyards, capturing visual beauty in the ecological devastation.
Feels constrained and rather dutiful, no matter how passionate these people are about what they're observing.
Burtynsky calls for "a whole new way of thinking" about the world's economy and ecology, though he never says what's wrong with the old way.
Audience Reviews for Manufactured Landscapes
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.
"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.
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.
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