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Review: Blue Gold: World Water Wars

This Magazine Staff

Sam Bozzo’s documentary is based on the book “Blue Gold: The Fight to Stop the Corporate Theft of the World’s Water” by Maude Barlow and Tony Clarke. Both address the very prevalent and serious issue of global water privatization and deterioration.
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The film confronts a lot of concerns that most people may not even be aware of; or, conversely, you may be aware of one problem but unaware it is connected to the world water crisis. For example, developing countries are in debt; to make money to repay their debts, these countries focus their resources on cash crops, draining the water supply that should be feeding the citizens; they then sell their goods well below market value, which does little to improve their situations.
Bozzo introduces several complex ideas and issues throughout the film, while narrator Malcolm McDowell ties the segments together and gives the big picture explanation. Although this is a very informative approach, failing to fully explain certain terms or provide sufficient back-story can sometimes make it difficult to fully grasp the concepts being discussed. It’s also curious that Australia is the only largely populated continent not mentioned in the debate.
Nonetheless, it is impossible to miss the gist of what is being said: governments around the world are selling out their populaces by allowing the privatization of their water supplies; corporations, globalization and urbanization continue to be the key offenders; most efforts to move water for current use is shortsighted and does not account for what will happen when this good that no one is renewing runs out; Canada is a water-rich country but the United States is already tapping our supply uncontested.
The concluding message is the simplest. The water wars have begun and lives have been lost. But it’s not too late; we can still do something about it.
The Planet in Focus International Environmental Film & Video Festival runs October 22 through October 26 in Toronto. Over 100 outstanding and compelling films and videos – documentaries and dramatic, animated, and experimental works of all lengths – created by Canadian and international filmmakers on key environmental themes will be screened at the Royal Cinema, Gardiner Museum, The Bata Shoe Museum, Innis College and the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM). Panels, workshops, youth, student and children’s programs are also offered. Visit www.planetinfocus.org for full details.

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