'Flow' sounds alarm on unsafe water supply

Waterworld: 'Flow' dives into the world's water crisis.

Photo by Oscilloscope Pictures, Oscilloscope Pictures

Waterworld: "Flow" dives into the world's water crisis.

The tagline used to sell "Jaws 2" back in 1978 was: "Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water...."

Now here comes the much scarier "Flow: For Love of Water," a documentary that could be advertised with this slogan: "Just when you thought it was safe to drink the water...." Or even: "Just when you thought water was safe, period."

Irena Salina's award-winning documentary investigates what experts label the most important political and environmental issue of the 21st Century--The World Water Crisis. Salina builds a ...

Rating: No Rating

Length: 84 minutes

Released: September 12, 2008 NY

Cast: Maude Barlow, Shelly Brime, Anthony Burgmans, Dr. Kent Butler, Michel Camdessus

Director: Irena Salina

More info and showtimes »

Waterworld: 'Flow' dives into the world's water crisis.

Photo by Oscilloscope Pictures

Waterworld: "Flow" dives into the world's water crisis.

Shades of Hitchcock and "Psycho": One scientist in the film says taking a shower can be dangerous. Why? Because some of the water supply's "more voluble pollutants come in through your skin."

Directed by Irena Salina and distributed by Oscilloscope Pictures (a new company founded by Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys), "Flow" joins the ranks of "The Corporation," "An Inconvenient Truth" and other films that essentially carry a sign reading "The End Is Near" into theaters, like prophets of doom in a panel cartoon.

"Flow" is particularly disturbing because its focus is the substance that makes up 70 percent of the human body. "This notion that we'll have water forever is wrong," says one of the film's experts on H2O, a lineup that includes chemists, biologists, activists and journalists from around the world.

The overarching theme here is that the Earth's freshwater supply is being contaminated, sucked dry and "privatized" for the benefit of huge corporations that are establishing themselves as the heirs to the oil cartels. These companies sell back the water to impoverished Third World residents (who pump it from metered communal faucets, to survive) and to gullible Westerners (who gulp it from bottles, as a luxury). In fact, "Flow" makes a nice intro for next week's "Quantum of Solace": The evildoer in the new James Bond film is a water baron.

"Flow" is playing exclusively at Malco's Ridgeway Four.

-- John Beifuss, 529-2394

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