Wednesday, March 5, 2008

World's Water Crisis Makes the Big Screen

World's Water Crisis Makes the Big Screen

By Tara Lohan

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If you want to see what the global water crisis looks like -- in the U.S., in China, in Mexico, in India, in Bolivia, in South Africa ... -- then start with FLOW: For Love of Water, the new documentary from French filmmaker Irena Salina.

The film kicked off to rave reviews at Sundance and I was able to catch its New York debut last week at a sold out screening held by the Film Society of Lincoln Center. In a nut shell, the film dramatically captures the water crisis, the current push for privatization from corporations, and the growing water justice movement that is fighting back.

Here's what the film's website says:

With an unflinching focus on politics, pollution and human rights, FLOW: For Love of Water ensures that the precarious relationship between humanity and water can no longer be ignored. While specifics of locality and issue may differ, the message is the same; water, and our future as a species, is quickly drying up. Armed with a thirst for survival, people around the world are fighting for their birthright; unless we instigate change, we face a world in which only those that can pay for their water will survive. FLOW: For Love of Water, is a catalyst for people everywhere: the time has come to turn the tide and we can't wait any longer.

While the film attempts to cover a lot of ground, one of the main points is really about privatization and drawing the link between corporate take over of municipal water systems, the lack of government funding for public water, and the bottled water industry -- all topics that are being covered in campaigns by groups actively engaged in the water justice movement -- Food & Water Watch, Corporate Accountability International, and Polaris Institute, to name a few.

One the most frequent faces seen on the film is that of Maude Barlow, an international water guru from Canada who I interviewed recently for AlterNet about her new book Blue Covenant and who also spoke with Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! last week.

The film is really a great tool for water justice activists to help educate the masses, but it is also, quite simply, a beautiful film, worth seeing for its directing merits alone. One of the other amazing things is the incredible cast of people that were interviewed: Peter Gleick, William Marks, Dr. Ashok Gadgil, Shri Rajendra Singh, Jim Schultz, Vandana Shiva, and a whole bunch more.

Check out their website for information about up-coming screenings. And for more information about water privatization, there's a great resource list at Waterblogged.Info.

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