VSAR 440- Burtynsky’s Watermark Film

For our class homework, we were told to watch Burtynsky’s Watermark Film. The film was really intense in my opinion I mean so much lost, the fact is there are a lot of problems in the world, that we as people should know about and be more aware of. The images I saw that were the most compelling to me were the images of The Colorado River, Mexico. These images of dry lands where there once was so much water and life. In the beginning of the film, you hear a native of the area who is explaining what happened to the water, “Well in the past the river was very beautiful. Many years ago… The Colorado River was full then. A lot of water, there was a lot of fish.” The native goes on to say how the water dried out which ended the life it made such as fishes. I found the images of the dry river so heartbreaking because all those poor creatures never had a chance, all the lives that were destroyed because of no water. These people had to leave the area because their was no sustainability. Edward Burtynsky asked himself a main question during this film, “How does water shape us and How do we shape water?” Seeing these images and hearing this statement, got me really thinking of water how it surrounds us gives us shelter in a way such as from thirst and dehydration. Later on in the film the issue with The Colorado River comes up again and we see images of where the water ended up and what it is being used for, which is watering a farm in imperial valley which is in the dessert, narrator talks about how “it is a dessert, it was never meant to be used as farm land.” As we all know a dessert is hot, dry, and a vast of empty land, trying to make it something it is not; is unnatural and wasteful of water that could be used for those who have none. Overall the film itself was compelling and made me really emotional.


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