Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Watermark, an exploratory film by Jennifer Baichwal, Nick de Pencier and Edward Burtynsky

Canadian directors, Jennier Baichwal and Nick de Pencier, joined with world class photographer Edward Burtynsky to explore the use of water throughout the world. The history of water and how different cultures view it is displayed through the exemplary photographic style for which Burtynsky is so famous. The film was a five year project and took them to ten countries, and what they learned is both shocking and beautiful. Burtynsky's experience with Baichwal as his director for Manufactured Landscapes has proven to be an indelible match.

The film has been well received by critics and has been viewed at the Toronto Film and Berlinale Festivals. The TFCA has declared the film to be the Best Canadian Film for 2013, and they are expanding to new audiences throughout the world. The Charleston Music Hall will hold a viewing tomorrow evening at 7pm for just $5. The importance of understanding the great expanse of how differently the world views water and its use can help us to understand and appreciate the sometimes unappreciated resource, as many Californians may attest.

The seductive style will introduce you to places like China's Fujian coast. The Xiluodu Dam, six times the size of the Hoover Dam, is being built for hydroelectric power generation and flood control. It is currently the 4th tallest dam in the world. They visit Huntington Beach for the US Open of Surfing and the dried out Delta region where Colorado River is reduced to a trickle before completely drying out prior to joining the ocean. Their tour of the Ganges, where millions of people bask in a sacred bath simultaneously, is awe inspiring.

The domination of water over civilization is not always apparent until it's gone. We depend on it, need it to survive and thrive on its power. This film should be seen by everyone, including children, as its imperative educational and historical is necessary for us as our climate changes. Learning how to use water effectively is necessary. Our survival depends on it.

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