Feature Documentary

88 minutes

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MANUFACTURED LANDSCAPES is a feature-length documentary on the world and work of renowned artist Edward Burtynsky. Burtynsky makes large-scale photographs of 'manufactured landscapes' – quarries, recycling yards, factories, mines, dams. He photographs civilization’s materials and debris, but in a way people describe as "stunning" or "beautiful," and so raises all kinds of questions about ethics and aesthetics without trying to easily answer them.

The film follows Burtynsky to China as he travels the country photographing the evidence and effects of that country's massive industrial revolution. Sites such as the Three Gorges Dam, which is bigger by 50% than any other dam in the world and displaced over a million people, factory floors over a kilometre long, and the breathtaking scale of Shanghai's urban renewal are subjects for his lens and our motion picture camera.

Shot in Super-16mm film, Manufactured Landscapes extends the narrative streams of Burtynsky's photographs, allowing us to meditate on our profound impact on the planet and witness both the epicentres of industrial endeavour and the dumping grounds of its waste. What makes the photographs so powerful is his refusal in them to be didactic. We are all implicated here, they tell us: there are no easy answers. The film continues this approach of presenting complexity, without trying to reach simplistic judgements or reductive resolutions. In the process, it tries to shift our consciousness about the world and the way we live in it.
Winner Best Documentary, Ecocinema International Film Festival 2008
Winner Genie, Best Feature Documentary 2007
Toronto International Film Festival One of the Top Ten Films of 2006
Winner Best Feature Documentary & Best Canadian Film, Toronto Film Critics Association 2006
Winner TIFF Toronto-City Award, Best Canadian Feature Film 2006
Winner Best Canadian Documentary, Atlantic Film Festival 2006
Winner Best Canadian Documentary, Calgary Film Festival 2006
"An extraordinarily haunting, beautiful, insightful, touching and thought-provoking movie."
Al Gore Eye Magazine

"Eye-popping masterpiece... Jennifer Baichwal has outdone herself with this new film."
Marc Glassman @ The Movies

NNNN Critic's Pick
"One of the things Baichwal does in the film is give us a look at what China's industrial revolution means, and its scale is staggering.The monumental opening dollyshot through a modern factoryspace has an almost
Godard-like grandeur."

John Harkness, NOW Magazine

"An extraordinary fusionof style and subject"
Geoff Pevere, Toronto Star

← Official Trailer HD
Manufactured Landscapes
Film Released 2006

© Mercury Films Inc. 2023