The Nexus of Pop-Culture Fandom

Let the Love Flow (for Flow)

Written by: Russell Davidson, CC2K Sports Editor

Image Stop reading. Go to your nearest tap. Turn the handle, and watch the water come out. A big deal?

You’ve no idea. Check out Irena Salina’s new documentary FLOW: For Love of Water, and be enlightened. You probably don’t know it, but the world is heading towards a crisis, if it’s not already there. Fresh water, the denominator of all existence, is disappearing. And, as is often the case, we Americans are among the main culprits. Like An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore’s film about global warming, Salina’s film shows the effects of messing with and mismanaging our natural world.

Nothing could be more plentiful than water, right? Obviously, the oceans are full of it. But it’s fresh water that FLOW is concerned with, the water people drink, cook with, farm with, bath in, put into their bodies. This water is becoming scarce, due to a myriad of factors. FLOW shows us that water is becoming more and more polluted. It shows us that bottled water, unregulated and untested as it is, can actually be worse for you than tap, not to mention the un-biodegradable bottles that result. FLOW takes us to India, to Bolivia, to Michigan, all different places with different problems, all fighting to keep the available fresh water in the hands of the people, not the global corporations who charge for it. Salina tackles all the problems inherent in how we use water, irrigating where we shouldn’t, building dams, assuming water is self-replenishing, when, often, it isn’t. Sobering stuff here.

The film is a needed education. If we run out of fresh water, the whole planet is in for it. By interviewing everyone from the Vivendi executives who exploit for profit to the impoverished people dying from polluted drinking water, Salina does a tremendous job of personalizing the problem. This is no far-out environmental concern, a false alarm. FLOW is at it’s best when it makes the point that we’re all connected, everyone to everything to all that we do. Salina lays out the big picture and shows us the smallest, no easy feat considering the scope of the issue.

Watch this movie and see what happens when good, clean water runs out. See companies such as Nestle and Coke drain water for their own gain, caring little for those affected. See what happens when chemicals get into the water, and when we drink it, what it does to us. Something as precious and important as clean water should be a right. Indeed, as humans, Salina says we are entitled to it. No one should be denied safe drinking water.

The film also shows how important grass-roots organizations are to changing the way things work. FLOW shows how activists have had local successes with the water problem, with fighting the corporations, with coming up with new ways to collect and use water. But more than that, Salina convinces us, people need to change the way they think about water, to conserve it, to monitor what’s in it, to not trust the various governments involved to do the right thing.

Let’s love water. Go with the FLOW.