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If you’ve heard photographer Ed Burtynsky speak, you’ve probably heard his explanation for why he hasn’t gotten involved in the politics of environmentalism — even though his large-format prints of humanity’s effects on the landscape could easily serve as its posters.

And in a new documentary about Burtynsky’s work, named Manufactured Landscapes after his best-known series, we again hear this rationale from the photographer’s lips. By refusing to tell viewers what they should see in or conclude about his work, “that may allow them to look at something they’ve never looked at before,” he explains. The film from director Jennifer Baichwal follows that lead — or at least it tries to.