Available from Hulu.
Edward Burtynsky does not point and click. He researches, conducts interviews, observes and then waits for the perfect moment. As a result, his photographs transmit enormous amounts of information and emotional power. And despite their ugly subject matter — the after effects of mass-manufacturing and industrialized culture — they are breathtakingly beautiful. As director Jennifer Baichwal follows Burtynsky through industrialized China and to a Bangladeshi oil-processing plant, she demonstrates her own steady hand, precise eye and substantial patience. Her magnificent scans of Burtynsky’s photos reveal the rich detail, remarkable depth of field and absolutely stunning color that are found in every print. On its surface, Manufactured Landscapes is an appeal for environmental sanity. But it also offers an examination of the possibility of storytelling through the still image, reminding us of the visceral, aching impact a great picture can have.