© Senator/Central

Canada 2013

Opening 15 May 2014

Directed by: Edward Burtynsky
Writing credits: Jennifer Baichwal

Here is a film that has already made a mark at the Toronto Film festival by winning Best Canadian Film and has received the Rogers Best Canadian Award. Edward Burtynsky, a remarkable photographer, teams up with director Jennifer Baichwal to give us a view of our interaction with water. This film is not like a Michael Moore film says Baichwal because they don’t want us to be hit over the head with a heavy message but that we would experience places around the world visually and come up with our own conclusions. The film takes us from the Xiolangdi Dam in China to the Ogallala-Aquifer in the Great Plains of America. He covers the all-American canal which is 130 kilometers in California to the desert where the Colorado River ends. We see places that we don’t necessarily see but are connected to in some way. We need water to survive and yet we misuse it to the point where we need to question our own future.

The visual images are meant to bring a consciousness into the people’s mind and show the global impact that it is having on us all. It makes us have a deeper respect to water when we are using it and we can remember that it has the ability to give life. They wanted their film to embellish the complexities and not just have a simple message about our relationship with water. Jennifer Baichwal says, “It is a lot about our impact on water but also shows our spiritual relationship with water. Water is life and without it we are nothing. We wanted to create a space where we think about water in a different way.” Nicholas da Pencier, cameraman, explained how difficult it was to get some of the shots on the Xiolangdi Dam since the structure itself was only temporary and he himself is afraid of heights. There were time lapse done over a couple of days and the still images needed to have the viewer understand what they are looking at since sometimes they look very abstract. It is both an emotional as well as an intellectual film. The film allows people to decide their on own, which is why there is not much dialogue to the film. (Shelly Schoeneshoefer)

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