Step Well

Images via Edward Burtynsky 

Watermark is a collaboration between award-winning filmmakers Jennifer Baichwal and Nick de Pencier, and Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky. The documentary looks at our relationship with water – in effect, how water shapes the way we live and how the way we live has shaped our waterways and ocean systems.

The film brings to life Burtynsky’s stunning photographs of water landscapes that have been impacted by humankind, from the changes that have adversely affected the Colorado River delta to Spanish dryland farming to Chinese rice terraces and the massive Xiluodo Dam, six times the size of the Hoover Dam. The images are stunning, thought provoking, and bring to mind the equally haunting and beautiful video of How Wolves Change Rivers.

In their bid to capture the true nature of humanity’s impact on water, Watermark‘s filmmakers covered a truly spectacular range of 10 countries in a five-year period. Their efforts have paid off with Watermark offering up scene after highly strikingly visual scene featuring humanity’s deep connection with water as well as stunning and yet visceral scenes of the impact this connection has had on one of the world’s most precious resources.

As Burtynsky said, “I don’t think I could have spent thirty years chronicling human-altered landscapes without a profound sense of what was being changed and what we are losing.” It is an understanding that he and his collaborators have seamlessly translated into their film and, it is hoped, to a broader audience.


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