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The New Mexican's Weekly Magazine of Arts, Entertainment & Culture Friday, July 25, 2014

Movie Reviews — Liquid assets: "Watermark"

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Posted: Friday, May 9, 2014 5:00 am

Watermark, documentary, rated PG, in English, Bengali, Mandarin, Hindi, and Spanish with subtitles, The Screen, 2.5 chiles

Photographer and filmmaker Edward Burtynsky and co-director Jennifer Baichwal’s documentary Watermark explores the relationship between water and humanity. The filmmakers rely on hypnotic, haunting imagery, shot in high-definition video, to tell this story — their second collaboration, after Manufactured Landscapes (2006). Visually, the movie is stunning. An opening shot of water rushing through a dam in China cuts to a dry river delta baking in the desert sun. This is the Colorado River in Mexico, dried up after its water was diverted to U.S. communities. Watermark covers a lot of ground, showing the lifeways of abalone fishermen on a floating farm off the coast of China, scientists in Greenland studying ice core samples, tanneries in Bangladesh, and the construction of the Xiluodu Dam on China’s Jinsha River, which will be six times larger than the Hoover Dam when completed.

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