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See china through manufactured landscapes

August 13, 2007

The great Core 77 has a chat with photographer Edward Burtynsky and the film maker Jennifer Baichwal who made Manufactured Landscapes, the film about Burynsky’s work and his recent trip to China.

There is no film that quite captures the contemporary scale of China like Manufactured Landscapes.

The challenge of capturing a photographer known for his large scale works and blending it into a film narrative is difficult, but in this case, it’s really nicely put together.

If you want to see what’s happening in China, Manufactured Landscapes takes you inside one of the biggest human transformations in history. The film shows Burtynsky pushing himself and his Chinese handlers to get the shots that tell the story and it’s a story of Old China being pushed aside for New China.

What’s also remarkable is quite how low-tech everything is; this is a human powered revolution. The film shows China’s labor advantage, so much so, that mundane tasks done by machines in the West, are done by people in China.

One amazing and scary example of this is the recycling of components found in circuit boards which is perfomed by 1000s of “mom & pop” operators doing it.

This film is quite remarkable and well worth capturing on the big screen if you can.

Posted by Ed Cotton

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