Flow: For Love of Water

"Weak"

Flow: For Love of Water Review


When the world is on the line, it's easy to lose focus. So it is with Irena Salina's crisply-packaged and beautifully photographed but wholly scattered documentary on the worldwide water crisis, Flow. Salina is certainly able to put across the inarguable proposition that the world is facing a water crisis in the near future or even present; simple math about usage rates, waste, and the still growing human population make it impossible to disagree. But with a film that expends too much energy down multiple axes of provocation, few viewers will come away with much more than a vague notion of what the crisis is and what's at stake.

The most valuable takeaway point from Flow comes from its sure-footed argument about the troubling development of the bottled water industry. The film zeroes in on a number of cases in which giant conglomerates were literally sucking a region's water supply dry, and getting tax breaks from the local government for the privilege. Salina, a onetime French radio journalist, seems at her most surefooted when detailing the minutiae of stories like this, particularly in one instance where a Michigan community rose up in opposition to a Nestle bottling operation in their town.

It's in the mostly unreported efforts like these by international business concerns to actually privatize the distribution of water that Flow has its greatest value. Reporting from South America on the backlash against the push (backed by groups like the International Monetary Fund) to turn water distribution from a public to private concern, the film gives an inkling of the vast societal upheaval such a change produces. Spokespeople of a few of these business concerns show up to mouth platitudes about how they're just doing their job and delivering clean water for the good of humanity, a claim that the film easily demolishes.

Too much time is wasted by Salina following larger issues that deserve more treatment. Scant time is given to problems like massive dam projects that threaten the water supply, steadily dropping water tables around the world, and even (most troublingly) the prospect of armed conflict over water. Given that there is practically no more central concern to the continuation of human life on the planet than a clean water supply, addressing such a broad swath of issues would have been better handled in a multi-part miniseries project.

That Flow is an issue film is clear from the get-go, and yet by dispersing its narrative energy among so many different fronts (India, Bolivia, Africa) the crux of what Salina is trying to get across here doesn't become apparent until the end. The film concludes with the news that a movement is underway for the United Nations to include as part of its Universal Declaration of Human Rights the stipulation that all people deserve the right to clean and accessible water. It's an easily arguable point, but one that not nearly enough people will be moved to publicly support; this is a film that trickles instead of roars.

And not a drop to bottle.



Flow: For Love of Water

Facts and Figures

Run time: 93 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 15th December 2011

Distributed by: Oscilloscope Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

IMDB: 7.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Irena Salina

Producer: Mike Morley, Steven Starr

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Jackie Movie Review

Jackie Movie Review

Rather than make a standard biopic about the most famous First Lady in American history,...

Split Movie Review

Split Movie Review

After a few badly received sci-fi blockbusters, M. Night Shyamalan returned to his earthier style...

xXx: Return of Xander Cage Movie Review

xXx: Return of Xander Cage Movie Review

It's been 15 years since Vin Diesel walked away from his XXX role, killing off...

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

This may not be the cheeriest movie of the season, but it's so skilfully written,...

Live By Night Movie Review

Live By Night Movie Review

Ben Affleck launched his directing career 10 years ago with his film of Dennis Lehane's...

La La Land Movie Review

La La Land Movie Review

After storming awards season with Whiplash two years ago, writer-director Damien Chazelle returns with something...

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Hopes were high that this film might finally crack the curse of movies based on...

Advertisement
Silence Movie Review

Silence Movie Review

Faith is a topic Martin Scorsese can't quite shake, courting controversy with complex films like...

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A difficult movie to market, this isn't actually the BFG-style fantasy adventure it looks like....

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Word has it that a 4-year-old came up with the idea for this unapologetically silly...

Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Dramas exploring the nature of death and the true meaning of life are always in...

Paterson Movie Review

Paterson Movie Review

Unpredictable filmmaker Jim Jarmusch ricochets from his artful vampire movie Only Lovers Left Alive into...

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

At 80 years old, British filmmaker Ken Loach won his second Cannes Film Festival with...

Why Him? Movie Review

Why Him? Movie Review

Writer-director John Hamburg continues to recycle the formula that made his first hit Meet the...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.