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New Zealand: JustWatch

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Manufactured Landscapes

MANUFACTURED LANDSCAPES is an unconventional film told through the spectacular, large-scale photos by Edward Burtynsky as he visits ‘manufactured landscapes’ – quarries, recycling yards, factories, mines, dams – in China and beyond.

Director: Jennifer Baichwal
Year: 2006
Time: 86 min

 Manufactured Landscapes
(2006) on IMDb

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US: JustWatch
Canada: JustWatch
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Share this film. Give others a chance to experience and consider these powerful images.

Learn more about the cycles of consumerism and how you can reduce your own consumerism. Participate in Buy Nothing Day.

Reduce your carbon footprint and your contribution to global warming. Use public transportation or ride a bike. Choose a laptop over a desktop. Choose energy-efficient appliances. Try to repair your appliances, clothes, shoes, and electronics instead of throwing them away and buying new ones. Filter your own water rather than buying plastic bottled water. Adjust your thermostats to use 15% less energy. Buy local food.

Follow Edward Burtynsky’s work and check out his collaboration with director Jennifer Baichwal in the 2013 documentary, WATERMARK, which is focused on water – how it shapes us and how we’re affecting it.

Related Articles and Resources

Industrial China’s Ravaging of Nature, Made Disturbingly Sublime

“Whether in a coal distribution center or a garbage dump, he turns the grotesque into something beautiful, or at least something that looks good on a gallery wall.”

Read the New York Times review on MANUFACTURED LANDSCAPES.


This playlist features 6 captivating documentaries by female filmmakers.

Landscapes That Weep Toxic Tears

“You begin to grow keenly aware of your own role in the whole production line because as consumers, we’re all complicit,” filmmaker Jennifer Baichwal told The Vancouver Sun. “We had no desire to make any judgments about what’s right or wrong. We’re simply pointing out the dimensions of this new industrial revolution.”

Toxic ‘e-waste’ Dumped in Poor Nations, Says UN

The Guardian on the “millions of tonnes of old electronic goods illegally exported to developing countries, as people dump luxury items.”

Ping Magazine Interview With Director Jennifer Baichwal

“I didn’t want to make a conventional portrait of an artist. What would be really important is to use the photographs as a departure point and extend their meaning into the medium of film. They are trying to shift consciousness non-didactically: they don’t want to preach or give you a message, instead just inviting you into an arena of reflection about your own impact on the planet.”

Read the full interview here.

Edward Burtynsky Interview

In this interview, Burtynsky discusses his artistic drive and creative process, and why he refrains from taking a political stance.

“When things go wrong with the water, when things go wrong with the air, it doesn’t select the left or the right, you know? When consequence comes home to roost, it doesn’t respect religion or politics. It hits us all equally, for the rich and the poor. I don’t think it’s a political question. It’s more of a human, moral, ethical question.”

My TED Wish: Manufactured Landscapes and Green Education

Accepting his 2005 TED Prize, photographer Edward Burtynsky makes a wish: that his images — stunning landscapes that document humanity’s impact on the world — help persuade millions to join a global conversation on sustainability.

Watch the video on TED.


Six films addressing the environmental issues of our time.

China: The Electronic Wastebasket of the World

CNN reveals the growing e-waste in China and the dangers of mercury leaking from so much plastic.

Questions and Answers

“If these were didactic photographs, if the film tried to be more didactic, it would imply an easy answer. There’s no easy answer to this question of sustainability. Otherwise we would have reached that answer. We’re all struggling with this.”

Listen to the Q&A with Jennifer Baichwal and Edward Burtynsky at New York’s Film Forum.


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