Documentaries that make us, as humans, feel better about ourselves are few and far between, particularly in the last few years. For every heart-warmer like Mad Hot Ballroom, it seems like there are three or four films that just devastate us. An Inconvenient Truth was such a film, using graphic depictions of the effects of global warming that shocked many viewers. Manufactured Landscapes is a documentary film that tackles similar subject matter and leaves viewers with the same feelings of disbelief that Truth did. However, the images captured in Manufactured Landscapes are even more searing and disturbing than those that Al Gore conjured up. The film follows artist and photographer Edward Burtynsky as he photographs the environmental effects of rapid industrialization in China, including a massive dam that displaced more than a million people. The documentary also examines Burtynsky's work photographing abandoned industrial sites, littered ship yards and new urban landscapes. As a visual piece, Manufactured Landscapes stands on its own as a tribute to artwork in progress. However, the film also encourages the viewer to examine the irony between the beauty of human progress and the destruction it leaves in its wake. Director Jennifer Baichwal one-ups Al Gore with this dual-functioning film that will leave you both visually stimulated and concerned for the environment that nurtures us all. The film will be shown at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, 3200 Darnell St., at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. Friday, 5 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Sunday. Visit mamfw.org for more information.
Fri., Sept. 21; Sat., Sept. 22; Sun., Sept. 23, 2007