Icarus Films has picked Oct. 20 for the DVD debut of documentary filmmakers Allan Sekula and Noël Burch's insightful look at the container shipping industry, The Forgotten Space.
The innocuous shipping container that you see piled high on cargo ships, zipping along by hundreds on snake-like freight trains and one right after another attached to truck cabs on the highway. Interchangeable building blocks … in fact, people have even converted them into housing.
Technically they are intermodal containers and the latest stats show that there are over 20 million in use worldwide (likely more, since the data is a couple of years old).
Instead of droning on about the history and uses of these symbols of commerce, filmmakers Sekula and Burch concentrate the bulk of their essay on the ways in which container shipping has impacted the lives of diverse — but connected — people around the world.
The Forgotten Space is presented as a lesson in economic Darwinism and comes close to being preachy, but points of profound change brought about by this simple concept are not without merit.