I absolutely love this documentary. Unfortunately buying it on blueray doesn't provide a quality increase because the film is just poor quality. It has that old TV look on it no matter what I played it on. I'd suggest getting the normal DVD and saving a few dollars since you won't get any more of a crystal clear picture either way.
The movie itself is every eye opening, giving a view into the destruction of the environment around the world. The photography is incredible and the insight into what other people are living through today is breath taking. The movie is done in a very neutral tone, there isn't a hidden agenda or a pushy narrator. It more of guides you down a timeline over a span of locations and displays pictures that explain everything. It is so well done that there really doesn't need to be any narration at all (But there is some). The truth is in the images and this movie doesn't have any spin or bias. It shows reality as it is, a reality that most people never think about.
A gorgeous, haunting series of images that will leave you both terribly worried about our future on this earth, and encouraged that we have the means by which to address the issues Burtynsky brings our attention to. A beautiful DVD - you should watch this if you care about art, photography, the environment, and the people who live in places in the world most affected by progress and its discontents.
This is not an Academy Award-winning film, nor will it keep you on the edge of your seat with suspense or fear. We bought it in advance of a trip to China and, while nothing can really prepare one for the immense scope and variety of the people and landscape, my wife and I found it to be one of several films that provide introductory pieces of the fascinating puzzle that is China.
(See also Up the Yangtze and Still Life, for which my reviews are identical)
My review has nothing to do with the content of this video - Edward Burtynsky is an amazing artist and it's fascinating to watch him work.
But the Standard Definition instant video Amazon has provided here is of terrible quality. Yes, I was aware it was SD when I purchased it, and as far as I know this film has never been offered in HD in any format. But Edward Burtynsky's medium is large format photography which has stunning depth and resolution to it - all of which is totally lost in a SD video stream. I mean - it's entirely pointless to try to appreciate this guy's work in this format. Look instead for his other film Watermark, which is available in HD - or better yet, purchase his books. The content in Manufactured Landscapes is available in the book by the same name, with stunningly beautiful high quality photographs - it never leaves my coffee table.
"Manufactured Landscape," the DVD and and film by Jennifer Baichwall, a retrospective and introspective documentary on Edward Burtynsky's work is a master piece in itself. The director took esthetic risks that allowed her to actual sign the work so that it is not just about the now world-famous environmental photographer. The film itself is worth watching for its form, and, obviously content. Even the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, Al Gore, enthusiastically endorsed it.
At the core of the film is, of course, Burtynsky's phenomenal work. For anyone who has not yet heard of Burtynsky's aeuvre, this DVD is the best introduction to it that they will ever find. For those who already know his astounding photographs for having seen gallery shows, his touring retrospective exhibition (2003-2005), or read his books, "Manufactured Landscapes" (2003, a catalogue to the retrospective), "China" (2005), and "Quarries" (2007), it is a key-document for the understanding of the philosophy, the esthetics, and the warm and thoughtful humanism of their author.
Everyone who can watch DVDs at home should have this work in their library. By comparison to all owned DVDs this one stands heads and shoulders above most.
This film gives a view into the mind of easily one of the greatest photographers of our generation. Edward Burtynsky finds an amazing amount of beauty in the industrial landscape, If the viewer isn't moved by his images, then there's something wrong. This film and the film that came after in 2013 "Watermark" are absolute must-see films for anyone concerned with the environment, or the future. Jennifer Baichwal & Edward Butrynsky are an amazing pair of collaborators,