Water on the Table

Director Liz Marshall
Genre Documentary
Runtime 79 minutes
Supplier LizMars Productions Inc.
Festivals/Awards Best Canadian Feature - Planet in Focus Environmental Film Festival 2010
Release Date In theatres on June 18, 2010
DVD/Blu-ray available on September 2, 2010


Water on the Table is a character-driven, social-issue documentary by Liz Marshall that explores Canada's relationship to its freshwater, arguably its most precious natural resource. The film asks the question: is water a commercial good like running shoes or Coca-Cola? Or, is water a human right like air?

Water on the Table features Maude Barlow, who is considered an "international water-warrior" for her crusade to have water declared a human right. "Water must be declared a public trust and a human right that belongs to the people, the ecosystem and the future, and preserved for all time and practice in law. Clean water must be delivered as a public service, not a profitable commodity." The film intimately captures the public face of Maude Barlow as well as the unscripted woman behind the scenes. The camera shadows her life on the road in Canada and the United States over the course of a year as she leads an unrelenting schedule. From 2008 - 2009 Barlow served as the U.N. Senior Advisor on Water to Father Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann, President of the 63rd Session of the United Nations.

Water on the Table is more than a portrait of an activist, it is a poetic-essay that presents several dramatic and artfully crafted debates. Barlow's opponents are giants in the world of policy and economics, they argue that water is no different than any other resource, and that the best way to protect freshwater is to privatize it. It is proposed that Canada bulk-export its water to the United States, imminently. Haiku-style images by cinematographer Steve Cosens linger on watersheds, wetlands, rivers, estuaries, waterfalls and lakes; bridging themes and questions and elevating water beyond the political framework explored.

Best Canadian Feature - Planet in Focus Environmental Film Festival 2010

Official Film Site |Facebook Page


Cast & Credits

Maude Barlow

Press & Articles

“'Water on the Table' captures an unforgettable portrait of Maude Barlow on a mission to save H2O” - Ryerson Free Press

“'Water on the Table': A film about our most wasted resource ” - Rabble.ca

“Water crisis makes Maude boil” - Canwest News Service

“The water agenda: an interview with filmmaker Liz Marshall” - Art Threat

“'Water On The Table': Water worries” - NOW Magazine

“Planet in Focus film fest” - The Toronto Star

Water on the Table

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