Jennifer Baichwal’s documentary shines light on Manufactured Landscapes

Manufactured Landscapes

On Thursday, April 21st, the Gregg Museum of Art and Design held a movie screening at the Erdahl-Cloyd Theater in DH Hill Library. The film shown, Manufactured Landscapes, gave the packed audience in the theater an insight into the seemingly dystopian landscapes of modern China.

Due to China’s prominence in manufacturing, much of the country is focused on the creation, distribution, and management of materials such as plastic and metals. The film, directed by Jennifer Baichwal, concentrates on the photography of Edward Burtynsky. Burtynsky is able to find an innate beauty in the desolate landscapes, many of which are dangerous to be near. Trash heaps, assembly lines, hydroelectric dams, you name it and Burtynsky finds a way to capture it in a still photo with all of the real-life energy.

Still image from the film MANUFACTURED LANDSCAPES, a Zeitgeist Films release.

Still image from the film MANUFACTURED LANDSCAPES, a Zeitgeist Films release.

 

Still image from the film MANUFACTURED LANDSCAPES, a Zeitgeist Films release.

Still image from the film MANUFACTURED LANDSCAPES, a Zeitgeist Films release.

With the help of the NC State Scholars Program, the Gregg was able to nearly fill the theater. The audience’s attention was rapt to the screen at all times, as the documentary was both powerful and thought provoking. The despondent lives of many Chinese people was brought closer to home by the film. Hopefully, by showing this film, the Gregg has aided in raising awareness of the harsh realities exhibited through Burtynsky’s photography.

Ian Beggen, Anthropology Major
Gregg Museum Intern, Spring 2016

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