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TRANSITION

UK, 2000 (MIFF 2001, Documentaries)

Director: Andy MacKinnon

Recalling the splendour of Koyaanisqatsi, Andy MacKinnon's majestic Transition is an account of lost lives and deserted places, outpaced by the encroachment of modernity. In the past decade, the Scottish landscape has been altered drastically as a result of human intervention. Large industrial complexes have been erected and torn down. The noxious by-products of commerce have tainted rivers and choked the sky.

Transition imbues these events with a malevolent beauty; images of pollution, deterioration and demolition are photographed in extraordinary timelapse episodes or dramatic slow motion which gives them an apocalyptic air. Giant cranes, captured from a distance, appear as tentacled beasts set about their destructive work without human guidance. The wastelands that remain after empty factories are dynamited appear as extraterrestrial landscapes.

At carefully chosen junctures, a poetic voice-over comments on the folly of humankind. The key to the motivation behind MacKinnons documentary is a single sentence: "It is not nature that is answerable to man, but man who is answerable to nature". Painstakingly filmed over a five year period, this phenomenal work is a cinematic indictment of the possibty fatal arrogance of a species.

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