This post was written by Andrea Paoletti
Waste Land is a surprisingly uplifting examination of how art came to impact the lives of scavengers at the world’s largest landfill in Rio de Janeiro, Jardim Gramacho, which receives 7,000 tons of garbage daily.
The documentarian Lucy Walker interviewed people who picked through garbage for a living and she worked an amazing result by getting people to reconsider garbage as the movie unfolds. Waste Land is a film about recycling, the subject is Brazilian garbage pickers, called catadores, who make a living recycling what they find, and how an artist, Vik Muniz, created, collaborating with them, striking portraits of a half dozen of them and transformed their lives. His purpose was to inspire his pickers to see themselves in a new way and even to re-imagine their lives. Waste Land shows in a great way that beauty is never outside the reach of people who never stop believing in themselves.