TIFF film shows at Twin


(Contributed Photo)
(Contributed Photo)

After a successful premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), co-directors Jennifer Baichwal and Edward Burtynsky are now taking their much-hailed documentary Watermark to local cinema Princess Twin.

This collaboration is one of many water-related exhibits happening in Kitchener-Waterloo right now as THEMUSEUM is presenting the Surface Tension exhibit, which touches upon similar themes.

Watermark showcases the intense influence that humanity and water have on each other and the complicated relationship we have.

Baichwal and Burtynsky travel around the world, showing stark, contrasting images of water as used by Westernized culture versus water as used by Eastern cultures.

“Where water is scarce, there’s a whole different type of respect for it and there’s a whole different mode of operation for it … it’s treated much more carefully than a much more wasteful Western society,” reflected Burtynsky on the differences of how water is treated in various parts of the world.

“Just by looking at something like Palm Springs [in Florida] … there’s over 100 golf courses and each golf course means a million gallons a day,” he added.

This is the second collaboration between Baichwal and Burtynsky, the first of which was their award-winning documentary Manufactured Landscapes.

However, this is Burtynsky’s first time in the director’s chair.

“I was far more engaged in the process of scouting out the locations, choosing the subjects, working in the editing room and the construction of the film itself,” Burtynsky recalled in an interview with The Cord.

“It gave me a lot more respect for how collaborative and challenging it is to make a film versus the challenges of making exhibitions and books.”

The question on everyone’s mind is simple: why water?

“It seemed to be a natural progression for from doing a project on oil and then looking around at another critical element to life in progress,” Burtynsky noted. “It was something that I felt I could get my head around. It took some time, took me five years … I have some interesting perspectives, other ways to think about water and how to take it seriously.”

The film inspires a necessary dialogue of our consumption, and potential abuse, of water and how we can change our dynamic with it.

While Burtynsky hopes “that one can at least aid in raising the consciousness around these issues,” ultimately it is up to the viewer, in the end, to decide how to re-evaluate their relationship with water and how they choose to consume it.

Watermark will be premiering at the Princess Twin on Thursday October 24 from 7 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. Burtynsky will be introducing the film and will be having a question and answer period after the show. Tickets are $16.00.

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