Award winning filmmakers Jennifer Baichwal (Manufactured Landscapes) and Nick de Pencier, and renowned photographer Edward Burtynsky, beautifully weave together diverse stories from around the globe that eloquently detail humanity’s relationship with water through the ages: how we are drawn to it, how we use it, and the magnitude of our need for this rapidly depleting resource. We see massive floating abalone farms off China’s Fujian coast and the construction site of the biggest arch dam in the world – the Xiluodu, six times the size of the Hoover. We visit the barren desert delta where the mighty Colorado River no longer reaches the ocean, and the water-intensive leather tanneries of Dhaka. We witness how humans are drawn to water, from the U.S. Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach to the Kumbh Mela in Allahabad, where thirty million people gather for a sacred bath in the Ganges at the same time. We speak with scientists who drill ice cores two kilometers deep into the Greenland Ice Sheet, and roam the sublime pristine watersheds of Northern British Columbia.
Shot in stunning 5K ultra high-definition video and full of soaring aerial perspectives, this film shows water as a terraforming element and the scale of its reach. This is balanced by forays into the particular: a lingering memory of a stolen river, a mysterious figure roaming ancient rice terraces. These images, both beautiful and haunting, create a compelling global portrait that illustrates humanity’s past, present and future relationship with the natural world. In WATERMARK, the viewer is immersed in a world defined by a magnificent force of nature that we all too often take for granted - until it’s gone.
“Without water we are nothing, the traveller thought. Even an emperor, denied water, would swiftly turn to dust. Water is the real monarch, and we are all its slaves.”
— Salman Rushdie