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Jennifer Baichwal's cameras follow Edward Burtynsky (1955- ) as he visits what he calls manufactured landscapes: slag heaps, e-waste dumps, huge factories in the Fujian and Zhejiang provinces of China, and a place in Bangladesh where ships are taken apart for recycling. In China, workers gather outside the factory, exhorted by their team leader to produce more and make fewer errors. A woman assembles a circuit breaker, and women and children are seen picking through debris or playing in it. Burtynsky concludes with a visit to Shanghai, the world's fastest growing city, where wealth and poverty, high-rises and old neighborhoods are side by side. Written by
Fascinating pictures and some stories behind the pictures
Documentary director Jennifer Baichwal follows Edward Burtynsky as he photographs the industrial complex with an eye towards its vast otherworldly beauty. He films giant Chinese factories, the beautiful and deadly e-recycling, taking apart ships in Bangladesh, the Three Gorges Dam, the massive mounts of material that China accumulates, and various man-made environments.
There is a real beauty with the pictures that he takes. The movie works best when it tells the story behind the pictures. The e-recycling bit is shocking. The ship recycling is awe-inspiring. The Chinese factories are fascinating because the infrastructure is so gigantic for things that are as simple as little grommets or making something as simple as a clothes iron. This is worthwhile to watch once but it does feel repetitive at times.
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