In an extended run at the Film Forum in New York City (and now playing in Philadelphia), the film Manufactured Landscapes is in the spirit of Edward Burtynsky’s 2005 TED Prize wishes: to show the world the size, the devastation, the sheer astonishingness of the industrial landscapes we have created — and to create a desire to learn more. Burtynsky’s large-format photographs capture Chinese factories that stretch on for acres, shipbreaking beaches where manual laborers tear apart rusting oil tankers, mountains of slag and rivers of waste. Filmmaker Jennifer Baichwal accompanied Burtynsky as he shot in China and Bangladesh, and offers context around the edges of the visuals. It’s stunning and heartbreaking in equal measure.
Watch Ed Burtynsky’s 2005 TED Prize acceptance speech here; WIRED.com has posted a portfolio of photographs here. And check out one result of Burtynsky’s TED Prize wishes: Meet the Greens, a site and show that teach kids about the environment.