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The Green Life: Movie Review Friday -- Flow

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November 07, 2008

Movie Review Friday -- Flow

Escape to the movies with one of our Movie Friday selections. Each week, we review a film with an environmental or socially responsible theme that’s currently in theaters or available on DVD. Seen a good eco-flick lately? Send us a review of 100 or fewer words and look for your review in the next Movie Friday!

Flow (2008)
In select theaters nationwide; available on DVD Dec. 9.

Flow is a lushly illustrated documentary that condemns bottled-water companies for their greed and disregard for people and the environment. It also depicts the plight of the many in third-world countries who don’t have easy access to clean water. The people who could easily do something about it – but don’t – come out looking very nearly like criminals.

Lovely quotations (W.H. Auden’s “Thousands have lived without love, not one without water.”) and shocking statistics (Americans spend $9 billion on bottled water annually, a number that exceeds what it would cost to provide clean water to everyone around the world) are masterfully interwoven throughout the film. And the spotlights on people doing good are refreshing. They include a UC Berkeley scientist who invented an affordable, UV-powered way to filter water and a water lawyer who battled Nestle in Michigan.

Though it comes off a tad too socialist and anti-corporate to be truly galvanizing (“Can anyone really own water?” Um, yes.), Flow does a good job of presenting complex issues in understandable ways that convey the film’s central message: The world’s freshwater supply is in serious danger – and it’s up to us to do something about it.

--Avital Binshtock

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