Waste Land (2010)

29 Sep

Vik Muniz is a succesful Brazilian artist who moved to the United States in the late 1980’s. Having made a name for himself and living comfortably he wants to do something with his art that can change people. He has the idea to go to the biggest garbage disposal in the world, located in Brazil to see what he can do there. Can he connect to the pickers there, who walk around with their buckets grabbing materials which can be recycled, understand them and interest them in participating in making art?

Muniz had the idea of photographing the pickers and use garbage to turn the photographs into works of art. The money he makes from selling it would be returned to the pickers. As he slowly gets to know them he actually becomes more involved with their work and asks them if they want to help him. It is an opportunity for the pickers to get away (even if it is for a short time) from the dirty surroundings they work in and learn more about the art world. The circumstances they live in are extremely basic, renting something which you hardly can call a house, where rats regularly fall from the roof onto the beds. Even though they live like this they are proud of what they do. A lot of women in the favelas decide to make money selling their bodies, but these women have made the choice to pick garbage and are proud of their work and have fun in doing so.

Waste Land is not a documentary about Vik Muniz or his art as it is much bigger than that. It shows that if you are willing to invest time into people and show them that there is more beyond the world they live in that they can get inspired to make changes to their life and improve it.

Score: 8

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One Response to “Waste Land (2010)”

  1. Raghav 1 October 2011 at 15:28 #

    I saw the trailer of the doc. a while back and have been wanting to view it. Will have to try and source it from somewhere. Looks interesting and very real. I can somewhat relate to it because we have a lot of children who work as pickers in India as well so it would be interesting to know how other countries are similar. Also obviously how something creative is coming out of garbage as well.

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