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©2010 LizMars Productions Inc.


Water on the Table

Is water a commercial good like Coca-Cola, or a human right like air?

Featuring best-selling author, activist and public figure Maude Barlow and her mission to have water declared a human right, protected from privatization, Water On The Table explores Canada’s relationship to its freshwater, arguably its most precious natural resource. The film follows Barlow over the course of a year as she leads an unrelenting schedule as the U.N. Senior Advisor on Water to Father Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann, President of the 63rd Session of the United Nations.

Barlow is a ferociously committed, politically savvy, world-renowned human rights activist and author, often referred to as ‘the Ralph Nader of Canada.’…A very well-made and engaging documentary. Recommended.

University of California Berkeley

Director Marshall delivers a great portrait, while also giving voice to the many counter-arguments, for a balanced but ultimately persuasive plea for Barlow’s case that potable water be included as a human right.

EYE Magazine

A documentary that’s pointed but visually sumptuous and poetic.

The Globe and Mail

This is an important film, beautifully constructed, seriously examining the values we put on water.

Great Lakes WATER Institute


Written & Directed by Liz Marshall

Produced by Liz Marshall 

Co-Produced by Susan McGrath

Edited by Jeremiah Munce

Cinematography by Steve Cosens

Additional Cinematography by Liz Marshall, John Price

Music Score by Jennifer Moore, Mark Shannon

Supervising Sound Editor Garrett Kerr

Supervising Re-Recording Mixer Daniel Pellerin

Location Sound Recordist Jason Milligan


My journey began in 2003 when I read Blue Gold: The Battle Against the Corporate Theft of the World’s Water, Maude Barlow’s first book about the global water crisis. Fast forward to 2007, when I set forth tenaciously to make my first feature-length documentary film that would intimately centre Maude Barlow’s unwavering focus and inspired determination to have water declared a human right. While exploring Canada’s water from both a celebratory and political perspective, it was important to illustrate the dramatic tensions that exist in the struggle to protect water from privatization. Water On The Table presents a nail-biting thesis of strong opposing views to Maude’s vision, from policy makers and business specialists in Canada and the U.S.

TVO for The View From Here

the participation of the Knowledge Network, the Canada Media Fund, the Canwest Shaw Media Fund, Ontario Arts Council, and the Rogers Documentary Fund

Kinosmith; BullFrog Films; McNabb and Connolly; Canada’s documentary channel