Friday, September 19, 2008

"Flow: For the Love of Water", film from DC Environmental Festival plays at Landmark Theaters

I recall, as a boy, the summer trips to Kipton, Ohio and the pleasurable chore of drawing water from a well into a pail and carrying it into the kitchen. We used well water to make Kool-Aid and the cake batter that us kids liked to lick. Laundry was done with water from a cistern, basically locally collected rainwater. I thought that well water tasted better than the city water that I would return to when going home to the DC area.

And now, in Texas, some high end homes live off of local water. In fact, decentralization of water supplies could become another mantra like decentralization of energy, as part of sustainable earth.

That’s one theme in the new super-indie documentary "Flow: For Love of Water", directed by Irena Salina, distributed by Oscilloscope, and produced by “The Group Entertainment.” The website is here. Perhaps the most daring, if common sense, political statement is that no one can own or claim property rights to something transient and fluid (both air and water) that flows.

Nevertheless, at least three European companies (Vivendi, Thames, and Suez) make big profits out of building water systems in the developing world.

The film showed poor people in several areas. El Alto, Bolivia (the highest city in the world except for Lhasa, Tibet) was shown as polluting Lake Titicaca; South Africa and Lehoto were shown, as was India. The water companies want to charge people for systematized water, often from dams. The film mentioned the heavy filial obligations imposed on older siblings, often raising their brothers and sisters when parents fall to AIDS.

The film showed the folly of commercially bottled water, and presented municipal water as often polluted, even by jet fuel.

I saw the film at Landmark E Street in Washington DC. The show was almost sold out It had shown earlier this year at DC’s Environmental Film Festival (I believe at Georgetown University). Afterwards, there was a panel discussion held by Food & Water Watch.. The panelists included Nancy Stoner and Paul Schwartz. I asked a question about viewing the water problem in conjunction with global warming and peak oil, with solutions like that in Thomas Friedman’s book “Hot Flat and Crowded” (see my books blog Sept. 15, 2008. Another person asked about the World Bank’s exclusion from the Three Gorges Dam in China, in a political scandal that caused one official to be prohibited from speaking in public about anything for one year. (For the film “Up the Yangtze” see this blog July 2008).

The books blog on June 2, 2007 has, at the end of the entry, some discussion of water projects by others. (link).

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