Tue, 15 Dec 2015 17:45:12 GMT
Manufactured landscapes is an excellent film, where a photographer and a documentary crew travel to the industrial landscapes of southeast Asia. I was shocked, horrified, but also amazed by what I saw. The opening shot of the film was a 9-minute long tracking shot that traveled down an Iron factory in China, revealing row after row of workers, each involved in a different stage of the iron-making process. Midway through seeing this shot, it occurred to me that every single day, people are working in factories similar to this one all over the world. That thought scares me a little. That we have so many people working within these conditions producing more plastic things for people to buy.
Technically this film is beautiful. The cinematography is very very well done. I frequently found myself being captivated by the shots onscreen. The sound design is even better. The film relies very rarely on music to emotionally manipulate the viewer and instead uses live sound from the natural environment to underscore the scene.
There were two parts of the film that really affecte d me. One was when they went to this beach where people were taking apart several oil tankers. Several young men had to go in with buckets and scoop the petroleum sludge out of the bottom of the ships. The film claimed that the people who do this kind of work don’t typically live to be older than 30. The fact that certain parts of the world have such little opportunity that people have to resort to work like this astounds me. Here we think of manual labor as carpentry or landscaping, but elsewhere in the world, it’s scooping sludge out of an oil tanker. The other part of the film that affected me happens back in the Iron factory. There is a sequence where we see several workers working on little plastic pieces in a sequence, with each worker making a new modification to each piece. The sequence eventually ends with the revelation that these pieces are nothing more than little spray nozzles for the irons. This made me think about how much goes into the most insignificant little things in our lives.
Manufactured Landscapes presents a troubling view into the industry of out of sight and out of mind places that most people wouldn’t think about. Before viewing this film, I had no idea that working conditions were as hazardous and as crowded as the film presented them to be. This film has changed my view of industry significantly.