WATERMARK (Jennifer Baichwal, Edward Burtynsky) Rating: NNNN
The new documentary from Manufactured Landscapes collaborators Jennifer Baichwal and Edward Burtynsky feels very much like a continuation of their previous work, once again exploring the effects of human industry on the natural world – in this case, our oceans and rivers.
Documentarian Baichwal’s contemplative approach meshes nicely with photographer Burtynsky’s fondness for finding geometric patterns in gargantuan constructions like dams and aquifers. And producer/cinematographer Nicholas de Pencier captures some splendid high-definition images. (Watermark may set a record for the most helicopter shots in a Canadian production.)
The filmmakers cushion their potentially grim ecological message with philosophical digressions and moments of unexpected whimsy. Which seems like an awfully good idea right now.