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Seven years have passed since Allan Sekula and Noel Burch released their magisterial documentary "The Forgotten Space". Unfortunately, it's born up very well.Broadly speaking, the film sketches a history of the shipping container – "The Box," as the filmmakers call it – and its impact on us. The film opens in Rotterdam, the Dutch port city flattened by World War II, then resurrected to become Europe's largest port.Rotterdam's been able to maintain its competitive edge, a port official boasts, by embracing technological changes that've allowed the industry to remove most human labor from the equation.The crew later sets down in California (whose port facilities were the laboratory for the invention of contemporary shipping practices), then Guangdong's industrial zones.The object of Sekula and Burch's globetrotting isn't economic infrastructure as such but the people that economies are supposed to service and the broad-canvas global narrative is leavened with human vignettes.
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