12.03.07

Manufactured Landscapes

Posted in China, Life at 17:01

Last week I went to cinema once again. In the tiny Kellerkino they showed the documentary “Manufactured Landscapes”. It is definitely a movie that should be seen by everybody.

The Canadian photographer and cameraman Edward Burtynsky attracted a lot of attention by his longterm work about how mankind changes the natural landscapes. The movie “Manufactured Landscapes” is showing us how industrialization in China looks like. He did choose China because it more and more becomes the factory of the world with all its negative consequences.

But compared to the movie “An Inconvenient Truth” by Al Gore about the global warming this movie does not rate the human acting. “Manufactured Landscapes” does not explain or discuss the destruction of nature it only shows it. Exactly this neutrality of the film-makers does lead to a speechlessness. You cannot totally accuse what you see because we depend on it and we provoke it with our economy. But on the other site it irreversibly destroys what has been on earth a long time before mankind.

The mixture of pictures and videos is underlaid with cold music and industrial noise. Sometimes there are short interviews, for example with a Chinese girl who assembles about 400 fuses a day, since six years. Or with an official of a coal mine trying to prevent the artist from filming their facility. You see the construction site of the Three Gorges Dam and the people destroying their own houses because their city will be flooded by this project. You see girls destructing our Computer waste for regaining the materials. But they cannot drink their ground water anymore because it is full of heavy metal residues. The movie shows the city of Shanghai which has to assimilate an increase in population of more than a million people per year. These are definitely other dimensions than we can even imagine here…

If I made you curious now you can watch the trailer of “Manufactured Landscapes” online.

What finally made me writing this article are some recent news about the Three Gorges Dam. First there was a video from National Geographic about landslides threating Chinese farmers. There they were still talking about a threat but today in the news there was already reported about a big landslide killing 34 people in the region of the Three Gorges.

Did you see the movie? Can we continue our extensive life forever? Can China handle this big challenge? Discuss it in the comments…