Mexican directors José Cohen and Lorenzo Hagerman are the winners of the 2014 Margaret Mead Filmmaker Award for their feature documentary film H20 MX (pictured), it was announced last night in New York City.
The Margaret Mead Filmmaker Award recognizes documentary filmmakers who embody the spirit, energy, and innovation demonstrated by anthropologist Margaret Mead in her research, fieldwork, films, and writings. The award is given to a filmmaker whose feature documentary displays artistic excellence and originality of storytelling technique while offering a new perspective on a culture or community remote from the majority of the audiences’ experience.
H20 MX is a documentary about the economic, political and geographical difficulties that stand between Mexico City’s 22 million residents and a safe, reliable water supply. The film investigates the daily issues that the megalopolis faces, from dangerous detergent buildup in the clouds to farmers in Mezquital living off wastewater irrigation to Chalco citizens fending off perennial floods. It’s an unsettling but beautiful watch, and a persuasive one, reminding us that sustainability is more than just a buzzword—it’s a philosophy deeply linked to social justice in an urban setting.