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As a teenager in northern Ontario, Edward Burtynsky worked in a gold mine and an auto plant, and he brings to his panoramic still photographs a fascination with industry and the natural landscape that's magnified in this big-screen documentary. Filmmaker Jennifer Baichwal trails him on a tour of industrial sites in China and Bangladesh, and her opening sequences are breathtaking (an eight-minute tracking shot along a giant factory floor, a scene of the photographer posing yellow-clad workers on a road flanked by yellow buildings). Burtynsky is drawn to spots (and lives) that have been disfigured by commerce—like the awful “E-waste” dump where poor villagers harvest metal from junked American computers—and the open-endedness of his images is the key to their power. The same virtue doesn't apply to his commentary, which is too general to rise above the pedestrian; the movie works best traveling from the eye straight to the conscience. 90 min.

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