About Water

About Water

Over water

  Appear insignificant problems that emerge through the depletion of world oil reserves, is over what means too much or too little (depending on region) of water for mankind. And the struggle for water is already long been in full swing: Around 1.1 billion people, it is estimated on the day have less than 20 liters of the precious goods available, only about one fifth of the world population lives in conditions, the water – and sewage pipes are connected. 436 million people live in countries where the water is already in short supply – and the trend is still showing a steep upward. For 1940 to 1990, global water consumption has quadrupled, and doubled the world population. No wonder then, that was predicted during the World Water Day in The Hague that (in 2020 already 3.3 billion people representing 37 percent of world population) already are suffering from water shortages.

Granted, the numbers at first sound abstract. But the director Udo Maurer gives the specter of a concrete and also human face: in his film about water, it shows in three stories of what it means to add floods, drought or water to humans. Kazakhstan, Bangladesh and the slums of Nairobi are the stations of his journey in the footsteps of the water. And at every stop, the problems of local people are indeed completely different, but more than existential: In Bangladesh, floods are common. The Monsumstürme and increases in sea levels threaten the country’s most densely populated area of the earth (here live an average of more than 1000 people per km2), but the farmers have adapted to the adverse living conditions long ago adjusted. In no time, they understand how to load the roof of her house on a boat, in order to invite in the event of a tsunami all their possessions and seek a new place.

Quite different are the problems in Kazakhstan, where the spreading drought, the fourth largest inland waters of the Earth, the Aral Sea has considerably changed in its shape. Long, the formerly continuous water is separated into several parts. The consequences are as surreal as serious: Ships hinrosten as if by magic in the desert in front of him and a master of melancholy, fishermen, which fish are lost and to tell the cities in which only Soviet propaganda films from the former wealth. And if this episode is not true, one would think it is the dream of a director symbolschweren.

Yellow Canister play the lead in the third episode, which is located in the Kibera slum in Nairobi. Here too, water is a precious commodity. And supply of the precious liquid is in the hands of wily traders who can be in the water well and equal pay also a seemingly cynical explanation for their monopoly: Why, someone asks rhetorically of them, each person should have equal access to water? The fingers of the hand are yet not equal in length.

The episodes and interviews with the people speak completely for themselves, so Udo Maurer, it can afford to do without completely out of the main fundamentals of each country featured on more off-comments. Nevertheless, the film succeeds, the intricate connections of water scarcity, drought and floods and its causes, with the attendant personal and societal consequences of this could partly be explained and put into stunning images full of symbolism, which open the eyes of the truly existential concerns of People in different regions of the world. The careless handling of the precious commodity of water, he will fall at least according to this film more difficult. And that’s a start has been made before.

(Joachim Kurz)

Title: over water Country of production: Austria, Luxembourg Year of production: 2007 Length: 82 (Min) Distribution : New Visions

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