Edward Burtynsky’s work is unique. I really believe that without his Manufactured Landscapes, you simply cannot have a dimension of the scale, extent and impact of industrialization. His Watermark project – of which I wrote before for Feature Shoot – ‘portrays’ water – an element scarce in some places and taken for granted in others – in such a meaningful way. In general, Burtynsky’s images are beautiful, but that’s not all they are. His images also give a visual dimension to macro-issues that otherwise would remain distant and abstract.
Watermark – the documentary – is Burtynsky’s first directorial project. Why I think this film is important and well done is – besides the visual part – that the film tells about water not only though an environmental lens, but also through a historical, symbolic and religious one. Perhaps there’s something to learn out of this: the depth of the film comes from looking at its subject from different perspective and this is something I often miss in environmental documentaries. In fact, Watermark makes a case for water without trying hard to do so and the film is an eye-candy with substance, slow paced but never dull.