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Waste Land

April 20, 2011

Last night I watched Waste Land, the Oscar nominated documentary that follows New York artist Vik Muniz on his journey back to Brazil with a mission to travel to Jardim Gramacho, the worlds largest Landfill, and Photograph the workers to create paintings made of garbage…

“Filmed over nearly three years, WASTE LAND follows renowned artist Vik Muniz as he journeys from his home base in Brooklyn to his native Brazil and the world’s largest garbage dump, Jardim Gramacho, located on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro. There he photographs an eclectic band of “catadores”—self-designated pickers of recyclable materials.  Muniz’s initial objective was to “paint” the catadores with garbage.  However, his collaboration with these inspiring characters as they recreate photographic images of themselves out of garbage reveals both the dignity and despair of the catadores as they begin to re-imagine their lives. Director Lucy Walker (DEVIL’S PLAYGROUND, BLINDSIGHT and COUNTDOWN TO ZERO) and co-directors João Jardim and Karen Harley have great access to the entire process and, in the end, offer stirring evidence of the transformative power of art and the alchemy of the human spirit.”

This movie was so incredibly moving, I would highly recommend it to all artists, art lovers, documentary buffs, or just people who love a good human connection story. I loved it.

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