Film Screening & Discussion
Watermark (2013, Jennifer Baichwal and Edward Burtynsky, English, 90 minutes)
Drinks Reception at 6.00 pm
Screening at 6.30 pm
Q&A at 8.00 pm
Close at 8.15 pm
“Without water we are nothing, the traveller thought. Even an emperor, denied water, would swiftly turn to dust. Water is the real monarch, and we are all its slaves.” — Salman Rushdie
Watermark is a feature documentary film that brings together diverse stories from around the globe about our relationship with water: how we are drawn to it, what we learn from it, how we use it and the consequences of that use. We see massive floating abalone farms off China’s Fujian coast and the construction site of the biggest arch dam in the world – the Xiluodu, six times the size of the Hoover. We visit the barren desert delta where the mighty Colorado River no longer reaches the ocean, and the water-intensive leather tanneries of Dhaka. We witness how humans are drawn to water, from the U.S. Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach to the Kumbh Mela in Allahabad, where thirty million people gather for a sacred bath in the Ganges at the same time. We speak with scientists who drill ice cores two kilometers deep into the Greenland Ice Sheet, and roam the sublime pristine watersheds of Northern British Columbia. Shot in stunning 5K ultra high-definition video and full of soaring aerial perspectives, this film shows water as a terraforming element and the scale of its reach, as well as the magnitude of our need and use. This is balanced by forays into the particular: a haunting memory of a stolen river, a mysterious figure roaming ancient rice terraces, the crucial data hidden in a million year old piece of ice, a pilgrim’s private ritual among thousands of others at the water’s edge.
Burtynsky will be present to answer questions after the screening.
Edward Burtynsky, acclaimed Canadian photographer, began photographing nature in the early 1980s. His early works were intimate explorations of Canada’s unspoiled landscapes. Gradually he began to investigate industrial incursions into land with arresting results. Burtynsky’s works are in the collections of more than fifty museums worldwide, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; The Photographer’s Gallery, London; Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Reina Sofia Museum, Madrid; and the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. Burtynsky was recognized with a TED award in 2005. In 2006 he was named an Officer of the Order of Canada, the nation’s highest civilian honor. He holds six honorary doctorate degrees. In 2007, Burtynsky was the subject of the award-winning documentary Manufactured Landscapes, which screened at the Sundance Film Festival. Burtynsky lives and works in Toronto, Canada.