Western Kentucky University

Fleischaker-Greene Scholars in First Amendment Studies

FLEISCHAKER GREENE SCHOLARS

Sanjeev Chatterjee (2014)

fleischaker-greene scholars
 

 

 

 

Executive Summary 

 

“I encourage my students to ask themselves, ‘Why do I do what I do?’” Sanjeev Chatterjee said.

Chatterjee is a visual storyteller and a professor at the University of Miami. He presented his film “One Water” to a crowd of WKU students on Wednesday night. The film has won multiple awards, including the Best Environmental Feature award from the Artivist Film Festival.

“I consider myself to be an artist,” Chatterjee said. “It was an experiment on how I remember being in a certain place at a certain time.”

Unlike a traditional documentary, “One Water” does not contain narration. The story is told solely through interviews and visuals. This style allows the film to focus on the experience, not just information.

“Films like this you can’t make overnight,” Chatterjee said. “It takes time and resources.”

Chatterjee said that because of the digital age the world is currently in, people have the ability to make a global impact through personal changes. He added that it is important to realize the scarcity of water early in life so that steps can be taken to fix it.







 

AWARD-WINNING FILM BRINGS LIGHT TO WATER SCARCITY ISSUE


“I encourage my students to ask themselves, ‘Why do I do what I do?’” Sanjeev Chatterjee said.

Chatterjee is a visual storyteller and a professor at the University of Miami. He presented his film “One Water” to a crowd of WKU students on Wednesday night. The film has won multiple awards, including the Best Environmental Feature award from the Artivist Film Festival.

It took Chatterjee and his team five years to complete the film “One Water.” The film shows the drastic differences in freshwater availability throughout the world. It documents inequality by highlighting personal experiences and everyday struggles to access clean water he has witnessed.

“I consider myself to be an artist,” Chatterjee said. “It was an experiment on how I remember being in a certain place at a certain time.”

Unlike a traditional documentary, “One Water” does not contain narration. The story is told solely through interviews and visuals. This style allows the film to focus on the experience, not just information.

Trekking through mud up to their knees, the film shows women overcoming obstacles to attain clean water. In other parts of the world, people bathe in brown, dirty water, forced to push mounds of trash away from their immediate area. In contrast, the film shows others lounging in public pools. Juxtaposition of such images speak beyond language and are visions that Chatterjee says he hopes will help spark a future discussion.

“Films like this you can’t make overnight,” Chatterjee said. “It takes time and resources.”

Acquiring resources does not only apply to producing the film. Water itself is a resource—one that is becoming scarcer by the day. The high demand leads some companies to taking control of water and charging for its consumption, sparking a debate over the morality because many are unable to pay the price.

“One Water” is a starting ground for future discussions on the status of attaining water and the many issues that poses. According to the “One Water” Press Kit, water-borne and water-related diseases cause 2.2 million deaths each year, most of those being children. There is a shift toward education, mainly to teach children of a changing relationship with water. The discussion can be seen in all age groups, ranging from the smallest of children up to members of various governments.

Chatterjee said that because of the digital age, people have the ability to make a global impact through personal changes. He added that it is important to realize the scarcity of water early in life so that steps can be taken to fix it.

The message of “One Water” is clearly stated in the film:

“Water can be the bond that connects us all. We can fight over it or share it as a basic human right.”

 Last Modified 4/3/14