Saturday, May 2, 2009

"flow: for love of water" documentary review

i watched "flow: for love of water," an incredible documentary about the rampant efforts to privatize and/or nationalize water resources, the night before earth day 2009. what a wake-up call the film is - and anyone who watches it will NEVER look at bottled water the same way ever again. count me as one of the converted - and that's saying something since i normally have a good deal of contempt reserved for alarmists of all shapes, sizes, politics, and causes!

don't get the wrong idea - "flow" has a decidedly pointed opinion of who the bad guys are - the big multi-national (now "trans-national" seems to be the preferred moniker) corporations that profit from the unchecked bottling of water resources. the big difference between what i'd call propaganda, however, and this documentary is very simple - the facts! it's difficult to remain unmoved by the efforts of big corporations to take over the water resources of third world countries.

the film documents the fighting that ensued in bolivia because the municipal water system was privatized. in india, protests are underway to stop the privatization of water - in which the quintessential soda company, coca cola, plays as starring role! and then there are the families in africa uprooted to make way to build a dam to control water flow! this is against a backdrop of corporate and economic statistics reeled off that document how lucrative "blue gold" is as a financial investment (and none other than 80's corporate rader, t. boone pickens, has joined this fast growing crowd).

but if that sounds like more of the "same old story" - what's newsworthy about taking advantage of third world countries (excuse the inner cynic in me) - it's positively outrageous to watch the efforts of nestle corporation in michigan! nestle has literally pumped some local regions dry - and then sells that very same water back to the residents! as a lawyer, watching that particular story unfold in a pastiche of courtroom hearing is especially galling!

watch the trailer, rent the dvd.

if all this stuff sounds alarmist, consider that the most recent global "villain" confronted by james bond - in "quantum of solace" - was a power mad utility executive trying to take control of a developing country's WATER supply! fiction?

"flow" provides a bit of comic relief thanks to the water cafe vignette put together by penn & teller - at the expense of expensive bottled water :D

the film concludes with a plea for viewers to sign the united nations petition that would make access to clean drinking water a basic human right.

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