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A growing population, poor government management and three years of drought have given rise to an unprecedented water crisis in Cape Town, South Africa. The shortage has left residents fearing what’s been coined ‘Day Zero’: the moment when the city turns off the taps, and residents are forced to line up for water rations under the watchful eye of armed officials. And as this unsettling short documentary shows, the consequences of the crisis are already severe, with police cracking down on what’s considered unnecessary water use. The increasingly desperate situation has escalated tensions in a region already divided between haves and have-nots, frequently along racial lines. Through unsettling images of environmental degradation and political upheaval, Scenes from a Dry City offers both a trenchant account of race and class in modern Cape Town, and a troubling portent of the disruption that climate change might bring worldwide.
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