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
I have mixed feelings on this film. On the one hand the images are stunning, desolate and beautiful. The photographer proves there can be beauty even in ecological devastation, which is really a foreign concept. The segments on the Three Gorges Dam and the shipbreaking beach in Bangladesh are fascinating.
On the other hand, the film often is a slide show of images without narration. When that happens it seems very, VERY slow. I know the director probably wants us to be able to absorb these images without being distracted by narration, but it makes for a mind numbing experience.
In the "special features" there was lots of fascinating narration - if they had added this to the film I would have enjoyed it more.
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