Last night Wolf and I watched Flow: For Love of Water. On my scale of 1-10 it gets a 6. The reason it didn’t get a higher rating has nothing to do with the film but everything to do with me. Maybe I’ve watched too many of these types of documentaries because I feel a little burned out. What I noticed was how totally predictable it was. Well, maybe “predictable” isn’t the right word; “format”, I think that’s a better word. Documentaries have a distinct format and that’s why I gave Flow a 6: it stuck to the format of The Corporation, The Future of Food, etc. The format goes like this: show degradation and poverty in non US places, make sure to include lots of trash, have grassroots activists speak (bonus points if in the native language so subtitles are required), then “experts” to support the grassroots activists — only in a more educated manner (bonus points for anyone non-white), throw in a couple authors, more footage of poverty, have local residents speak of the hardships, then move onto the white guys in power who demand _____ from the poor (money usually), show conferences on both sides of the issue, then move back to the locals and experts, throw in a couple demonstrations, end on a message of hope. Make sure the music is gut wrenching when it needs to be, angry, sad, and eerie all at the same time. Roll credits.
Flow was good just not earth shattering like I though it would be, like it’s been hyped up as. Certainly it made good points about the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank and how awful these organizations are, and certainly it showed how water is being taken by corporate giants who are bilking us of money and H2O, but it’s a message I know well already: the corporations are taking our resources and that sucks. There doesn’t seem to be much we can do about it because they have money and courts and we don’t.
But maybe I’m jaded.
Watch Flow for yourself and see if you agree with me. You’ll definitely learn something especially if you haven’t seen any of the documentaries I’ve already reviewed.