Dir. Jennifer Baichwal, Eng, Canada, 2006
Wed 18 July 2012 // 19:30 / Cinema
The film follows Burtynsky to China as he travels the country photographing the evidence and effects of that country’s massive industrial revolution. Sites such as the Three Gorges Dam, which is bigger by 50% than any other dam in the world and which displaced over a million people, factory floors over one kilometre long, and the breathtaking scale of Shanghai’s urban renewal are subjects for his lens and this feature length film. Baichwal observes the artist at work amid some of the most surreal landscapes of the 21st century: quarries, recycling yards, factories, mines, dams and ship-breaking yards.
'I’m always interested in how humans shape the landscape. All my work is really about the pristine landscape being pushed back as a result of the expanding human footprint.''
Manufactured Landscapes is ostensibly a portrait of an artist, but as anyone who has seen Baichwal's previous work would expect, the film is far more than a straightforward portrayal. It is as much about the aesthetic, social and political dimensions of industrialisation and globalisation as it is about Burtynsky’s work and how his photographs are disseminated.
Manufactured Landscapes is a must-see for any well-rounded photographer. The film is breath-taking and mindboggling at the same time, and the festival is providing a rare opportunity to see it on the big screen, followed by a Q&A with Burtynsky.
Tickets £5 / £3.50