Jared Silliker

MANUFACTURED LANDSCAPES: Our impact exposed

by , 06/20/07

Edward Burtynsky, Nickel Tailings, Sudbury Ontario, Ed Burtynsky Photography, Jennifer Baichwal’s Manufactured Landscapes, Manufactured Landscapes Video, Jennifer Baichwal Documentary Video About Ed Burtynsky’s Photography, China, Three Gorges Damn, Development in China

Edward Burtynsky’s stunning photographs manage to be both beautiful and simultaneously horrifying, and film director Jennifer Baichwal has managed to capture both the aesthetic and concept behind Burtynsky’s ground-breaking photography in her recently-debuted documentary film Manufactured Landscapes. The film was shown at the Seattle Film Festival, showcasing Edward Burtynsky’s photography through Baichwal’s aesthetic eye and and Peter Mettler’s artful cinematography. Burtynsky’s work highlights the effects of human interventions on the land, in such a stunning yet critical way that he was awarded the TED Prize for his art in 2005.


Edward Burtynsky, China, Ed Burtynsky Photography, Jennifer Baichwal’s Manufactured Landscapes, Manufactured Landscapes Video, Jennifer Baichwal Documentary Video About Ed Burtynsky’s Photography, China, Three Gorges Damn, Development in China

In fact, the imagery is downright exhausting for the eye. Every sequence brings immense awe, frustration, disbelief, and wonderment. Whether watching the drone of a consumer products manufacturing plant, or the brute force of ship building and breaking, it’s sensory overload with Burtynsky.

The tour of human impact is very apolitical, which Baichwal hit home in her comments. The imagery of humans’ clash with the environment is there for all to see and absorb. The effects of our industrialized world is plain to see. There is no right or wrong attached. “I hope that the film initiates the conversation without polarizing you. It’s not telling you to think in a certain way … ambiguity is the source of the work’s power,” Baichwal said.

The film certainly raises awareness around both the inputs and outputs of our manufactured world. From the mined metal, to the assembly labor, to the mounds of waste … we pay a steep price in natural and human capital to meet our material demands. Go find this film. It will refresh your perspective on the effect our collective consumerism has on the Earth.

+ Manufactured Landscapes
+ Edward Burtynsky

Here’s the lineup through the summer.

US Distribution – Zeitgeist Films
CA Distribution – Mongrel Media

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8 Comments

  1. Christal November 11, 2008 at 10:55 pm

    I’ve seen Koyaanisqatsi (Life out of Balance), it’s sequel, and Manufactured Landscape, which are all as close to the truth as you will get (unless you see it firsthand) . Koyaanisqatsi is a very fast paced movie that shows how we have been asleep to all these atrocities and it delivers perspective with a punch. The sequel is called “Powasquatsi” (Life in Transformation). Naqoyqatsi (Life as War) was made in the early 2000′s of which I have not seen is about the take over of technology. I’m at the local university studying Environmental Science and all of these movies are a must-see!

  2. Tete June 23, 2007 at 11:09 pm

    I saw the film @ the Miami Film Festival. The images are just clearly amazing.

  3. Eric June 22, 2007 at 5:20 am

    I would love to see this.
    Scroll down to “Manfactured Landscapes” for an interview with Burtynsky & Baichwai on WNYC:
    http://www.wnyc.org/shows/lopate/episodes/2007/06/20

  4. Jos June 21, 2007 at 2:33 pm

    i saw the trailer on youtube and all the images are strong and amazing at the same time!
    i wish i could see the entire film soon =)

  5. Carl June 21, 2007 at 12:21 pm

    The DVD is available from the National Film Board of Canada. Everyone should see it.

  6. Nick Simpson June 21, 2007 at 8:22 am

    Pity this isn’t available in the UK…

  7. treekiller June 20, 2007 at 9:51 pm

    is this the koyanasquatsi for the millenium?

  8. Sean June 20, 2007 at 6:32 pm

    I saw this film a couple months ago, and I was not surprised.

    I was amazed at how well they’ve portrayed the dark and dirty secrets that our consumerist society so skillfully hides, and pleased that it affected my parents, who are quite stubborn when it comes to these ‘new-fangled’ ideas.

    Thanks for featuring it.
    It’s a great film.

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