Waste Land

Waste Land

DVD - 2011
Average Rating:
16
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Top-selling contemporary artist Vik Muniz takes viewers on an emotional journey to the world's largest landfill of the day, Jardim Gramacho. Here the catadores, who number in the thousands, work under the hot sun collecting recyclable materials such as bottles, plastic, and metal to be sold to wholesalers. Muniz invites the catadores to add refuse to his art, photographing the work from overhead. The finished artwork will then be on display in museums and auctions around the world.
Publisher: New York : Arthouse Films, 2011.
ISBN: 9781422915134
1422915131
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (ca. 99 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.
Additional Contributors: Muniz, Vik

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n
Nursebob
Dec 05, 2014

Celebrated contemporary Brazilian artist Vik Muniz, now living comfortably in America, decides to give something back to his Brazilian roots. Traveling to Jardim Gramacho, the world’s largest landfill located outside Rio, where a few thousand catadores (impoverished people who sort through the tons of garbage in search of recyclables to sell) eke out a living, Vik hit upon an ingenious plan to help them earn extra money. Under Vik’s guidance the catadores created huge portraits out of the garbage they’d collected which he then photographed and put on display in art galleries around the world. The resulting celebrity, not to mention cash windfall, took everyone by surprise and enabled these hardworking men and women to gain a financial foothold and social status hitherto undreamed of. One of those heartwarming “can-do” documentaries that film fest audiences love to love, directors Lucy Walker et al show just how far people can go with the right amount of motivation and encouragement. Although it lacks the kind of dramatic punch that keeps me comfortably in my seat, it was still interesting to see the various success stories Muniz’s intervention brought about both on a personal level (a few of his subjects have gone back to school) and a social level as we see their unofficial leader pursue a political career. Rife with colourful characters and and an underlying sense of dignity, file this one under “feel good”.

e
elsiecat
Dec 28, 2013

A very moving documentary about a successful Brazilian artist (from a poor background) who goes to the largest garbage dump in the world to create art with the catadores who scavenge scrap at the dump. It is a partnership of equals and during the project both the catadores and Vic Muniz, the artist, are transformed.

j
JDK5
Jul 14, 2012

After 34 years, the landfill officially closed on June 3rd 2012.

The site is to be transformed into a methane recapture plant, creating fuel from the gases emitted from the massive rot. I read that 18% of the proceeds from the sale of methane gas are to be used for environmental restoration of the Jardim Gramacho neighborhood.

The future of approximately 3,000 catadores that collected recyclables from the dump site is still being resolved.

r
re_discover
Jul 03, 2012

I love the different dimensions Vik brings to his art, but I feel that the documentary itself is a little bit one dimensional in the way it portrays the catadores. The catadores who volunteered to be part in the portraits all seemed to be in the same circle, with similar attitudes and backgrounds. I am sure not all of the catadores at Gramacho are as optimistic as Marak, for example.

v
VRMurphy
Jun 20, 2012

Excellent documentary that looks both into the execution of an artistic idea and the effect of same on the people involved. Strongly recommended.

m
movie20
Jun 14, 2012

Excellent movie about real people with difficult lives and how they are helped. Very inspirational.

d
donnabirkinshaw
Jun 06, 2012

excellent movie about how art can bring healing to the ones participating and the ones viewing--
hearts are changed

b
Boosterl16
Mar 13, 2012

I hadn't expected anything in particular of this. However I guess I was a tad hopeful. And thus, disappointed. It seems, though it touches on some fine points, that this documentary is mostly about the artist promoting his work.

p
paulkarlson
Feb 28, 2012

4 of 5 stars. A Brazilian-born artist lands in a landfill community. Garbage, or art? Discarded people, or ?

o
omasciarotte
Feb 18, 2012

Thought provoking & literally wonderful documentary worth watching

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