Manufactured Landscapes review

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Epic scale and scope are not generally associated with documentary film, but Jennifer Baichwal’s revealing portrait of photographer Edward Burtynsky has both – as seen in the opening eight-minute tracking shot through a seemingly infinite factory. She rides shotgun as Burtynsky sets up his camera in vast industrial spaces across China (the Three Gorges dam), India (shipbreaking), and North America (oil fields). The images Burtynsky composes are as artful as any Turner oil painting, yet their subjects are globalisation, corrosion, pollution, exploitation and impending environmental catastrophe… or is it all in the eye of the beholder? Burtynsky offers a few clues in his spare commentary, where he tries not to preach but to acknowledge an impact in which we’re all complicit.

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The Total Film team are made up of the finest minds in all of film journalism. They are: Editor Jane Crowther, Deputy Editor Matt Maytum, Reviews Ed Matthew Leyland, New Editor Jordan Farley, and Online Editor Jack Shepherd. Expect exclusive news, reviews, features, and more from the team behind the smarter movie magazine.