FLOW is hands down one of the best eco-minded movies I’ve seen; and I’ve seen many. Honestly, I think this is required viewing. They should be showing this in schools, workplaces, and well, everywhere.
About the movie:
FLOW is an award-winning documentary by Irena Salina that investigates the world water crisis. As FLOW unfolds, Salina shows how the growing privatization of the world’s dwindling fresh water supply is an insane move, in a world that’s got water to share. The main focus surrounds water conservation to a point, but there’s a larger focus on how water is connected to politics, pollution, human rights and, as FLOW puts it, “The emergence of a domineering world water cartel.”
The movie contains multiple interviews with many scientists and water activists who discuss the water crisis. Plus attempts to answer a fairly basic question, “Can people really own water?” Sadly FLOW shows that yes, people can and do own water and at the expense of the rest of the population and the planet.
Beyond showing the scoop of the water issues we face, FLOW offers ideas about how we can possibly fix the water crisis, with the help of some useful water advocates and organizations, along with some bright new water conservation technologies.
What I thought:
Honestly, this movie wasn’t an upper. It left me with an icky sinking feeling, but it also left me with a renewed commitment to water conservation. Before I saw FLOW, yes, I was big on water conservation, but seeing this film just hit me in the gut. Literally every single time I turn on the tap I consider the impact now – which is pretty much what a perfect eco-movie should do. It should affect you enough to inspire you. FLOW does that well.
As for the pace of the movie… well, to be honest, I wasn’t too excited to see FLOW. I was happy to have the option to see it, but that doesn’t mean I was overly hopeful. Did I mention I’ve seen a lot of eco-movies? Most eco-movies seem geared toward kids or try to be hip and fail or toss out research fact after fact until you fall over from boredom. Documentaries about water I’ve seen in the past fail to spend time on USA water issues so there’s a smaller connection – because frankly, I like seeing how issues affect me first, then other places.
I was shocked by FLOW because it wasn’t dull at all. It did look at water globally, not simply where you’d expect. I couldn’t turn away, even though it was late at night (I’m talking 1am) when I finally got around to watching it.
Another perk is that the FLOW movie website offers extensive resources for anyone who wants to help create change in the world of water.
I didn’t love the movie packaging. It has pros, like no plastic DVD case. In fact the case is made with recycled FSC certified paper BUT it’s a sleeve that folds out, not once, not twice but four times! This surprised me, because it was totally unnecessary – all that’s on the fold-out is artwork. I’d have cut the packaging by half.
I liked the solutions offered to the water issues, but wish they’d shown a few more. Overall this movie was about 80% anger-inducing and somewhat upsetting and 20% solution based. I just think that people overall appreciate an extra slice of positive. However, there’s a point to this tactic I think. I like how the New York Times‘ put it, “Flow is designed to awaken the most somnolent consumer.” I totally agree. Even the hyper lackadaisical will think twice about water after seeing this film.
FLOW has a low re-watch value. I’ve watched it more than once, and I’ll watch it again, but it’s not something you’ll pop in often.
Due to a low re-watch value and the obscene DVD case, I’m taking off a half point. However, this is one of the most interesting, most can’t turn away, eco-films I’ve seen. I highly recommend you watch it. Better yet, get a whole group together and watch it. The more people on board with conservation and not supporting water wasting companies, the better.