12 January 2008

How Big Is China?

The scale of China is hard to comprehend from numbers

Chinese Workers from Film Board of Canada http://www.nfb.ca/collection/films/fiche/medias.php?id=53006I recommend a film that gives a sense of it: Manufactured Landscapes. This is a 2006 documentary (imdb link) by Canadian director Jennifer Baichwal. It is built around the work of Edward Burtynsky, who makes large photographs of very large human-influenced landscapes. The film's page is here, and another, with a trailer, here. (There is also a trailer at Burtynsky's site.)

The film isn't just about China. There are some spectacular images of peasant shipbreaking in Bangladesh, mines in Canada, and freeways in Los Angeles. But it brought home to me the incredible scale of the modernization of China. It's sort of the Total Perspective Vortex of movies.

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