Timely documentary helps rally support for Great Lakes restoration

Image of a lake

The Great Lakes are the largest system of fresh surface water on Earth, containing nearly 20% of the world supply. If you’re interested in seeing how we use and abuse this precious resource, I think you’ll enjoy the new documentary film Waterlife.

The folks at Good Company Communications and Hello Cool World sent us more information to share about this project. The film opens June 5 in Toronto and June 19 in Vancouver.

2009 is a crucial year for the Great Lakes. With U.S. President Barack Obama’s proposal on the table to pump $475 million into Great Lakes restoration and mounting pressures from environmental groups for a review of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, Kevin McMahon’s award-winning documentary WATERLIFE could be instrumental in rallying public support.

Winner of the Special Jury Prize for Canadian Feature at the Hot Docs film festival, Waterlife is a fascinating documentary that tells the story of the last great reserve of fresh water on Earth. Under assault by toxins, sewage, invasive species and dropping water, many scientists believe the Great Lakes are on the verge of ecological collapse.
The film introduces us to some amazing characters – among them, an Anishinabe medicine woman who walked 17,000 kms around the lakes to sympathize with them; a man whose lakefront property now borders on a field thanks to sewer overflows; and a village where mysterious toxins ensure that most new babies are girls.

Innovatively shot, the film shows the lakes as they might appear to a seagull, a fish or a water molecule. The soundtrack features songs by the likes of Sam Roberts, Sufjan Stevens, Sigur Ros, Robbie Robertson, and Brian Eno. The Tragically Hip’s Gordon Downie narrates. The film is directed by Toronto documentary vet Kevin McMahon (The Falls).

The film is produced by Primitive Entertainment (Kristina McLaughlin and Michael McMahon) in co-production with the National Film Board of Canada (Gerry Flahive). One of its executive producers is Mark Achbar (The Corporation).

Waterlife is being released in Canada by Mongrel Media.

For trailers and more information, visit: http://www.ourwaterlife.com/

The influence the Great Lakes have on the surrounding climate is considerable. Changes to lake levels, temperature and salinity, brought about in part by global warming, could have lasting impacts on local weather systems. Additionally, millions of families rely on the Great Lakes Basin for a clean, healthy source of drinking water. Let the Government know you want a long-term plan to protect the quality of water in the Great Lakes Basin by signing our petition.

(Thanks to David Ng at Good Company Communications for sending us this info on Waterlife. Photo shows Lake Superior.)