Sunday, September 23, 2012

Waste Land (2010)

Agg..what an awesome film. Our Cape Town bergies could learn a thing or 2 from watching this hehe..

This was not the kind of documentary with twists and turns but a simple film about ordinary people. What so clearly starts about an artist, Vik Muniz who decides that he is going to create portraits made from recyclable garbage transforms into an incredible tribute to the people who work and sift through the tons and tons of garbage deposited daily on the largest landfill in Brazil. I absolutely loved ALL the characters and was touched by the dignity, emotion and spirit of each and every one of them. The women were especially endearing and I found most of them quite beautiful, the irony not being lost on where they spend their days. There are 3000 “pickers” that work and live in this landfill, clearly very devout and supportive of each other. Even I was amazed at the resourcefulness of the group, with Irma, who has worked there for 30years, feeding her group the most amazing meals from the trash. She boasts of rib stews and roast beefs, being cooked right there on the dump.

It was also very interesting to see where our trash goes after it leaves our door on bin day every week. It was amazing to see what we consider trash is considered very desirable in monetary terms when it lands on the other side. Dont get me wrong, this film does not glorify the job they do, its a hard and stressful life and a means to an end. Most of the women commenting that it was this or prostitution for them.

The end result of Vik Muniz art is also amazing and incredibly beautiful even thou I know nothing about art. I would most definitely love to own a piece myself. The pickers help him with his project and their sense of pride and accomplishment after their portraits are completed is really carried forward to the viewer. I did find the first few 15 minutes hard to watch as I found the artist quite arrogant and was going to turn it off but I'm so glad I stayed with it, was really worth the watch.

You could study these for hours.

I will add that this reminded me of a few years ago, I packed a full black bag of my then baby daughters clothing to give to a friend and left it by the front door. My husband, thinking it was trash, threw the bag into the bin. Needless to say, I was furious and for years, still got pissed off everytime I thought about it. However, I can calmly say all is finally forgiven after watching this film. I can only imagine it was a joyous day for whomever found that bag when it got to our cities landfill.

If you manage to watch this film, also take note of the philosophical quotes to come from Valter, some of them are absolute gems. The movie is in Brazilian so you will need the .srt files if you grab it.

1 comment:

  1. YAY, So glad to see you are back. Looking forward to hearing about more Documentaries to watch