An uplifting feature documentary highlighting the transformative power of art and the beauty of the human spirit. Top-selling contemporary artist Vik Muniz takes us on an emotional journey ... See full summary »
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Aindrias De Staic
It is happening all across America-rural landowners wake up one day to find a lucrative offer from an energy company wanting to lease their property. Reason? The company hopes to tap into a... See full summary »
Directed by Lucy Walker, Make Haste Slowly: The Kikkoman Creed explores an almost 400-year-old Japanese company, the impact it had on a small farming community in Middle America and the art... See full summary »
This is Not a Ball is a documentary that follows the creative process of acclaimed Brazilian artist Vik Muniz in the months leading up to the 2014 World Cup as he plans and creates a major new artwork made of 10,000 soccer balls.
Lonely teenager Marc is secretly in love with Olaf, the cool boy-next-door. He dreams about a relationship with him, and when the two go camping, this dream seems to become reality for Marc... See full summary »
An uplifting feature documentary highlighting the transformative power of art and the beauty of the human spirit. Top-selling contemporary artist Vik Muniz takes us on an emotional journey from Jardim Gramacho, the world's largest landfill on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro, to the heights of international art stardom. Vik collaborates with the brilliant catadores, pickers of recyclable materials, true Shakespearean characters who live and work in the garbage quoting Machiavelli and showing us how to recycle ourselves. Written by
I'd rather want everything and have nothing, than have everything and want nothing. Because at least when you want something your life has a meaning: it's worthwhile. From the moment you think you have everything, you have to search for meaning in other things. I spent half my life wanting everything and having nothing; and now I have everything and I don't want anything.
These days I'm starting to see things in a simpler way; I don't have as much material ambition as I used to. When I was poor...
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In one of the several memorable sequences in 'Waste Land' world famous artist Vik Muniz teaches his audiences about looking at art in a museum. People tend, he tells them, to get closer to the painting, then farther, then closer, then farther again, several times. When they are far away they get the overall idea of the art work. When they get close they try to understand how it is made. From far they see the idea. From close they see the matter.
The great idea of the documentary directed by Lucy Walker is to describe the process of creation in which the subjects are the Brazilian garbage pickers, called 'catadores' while the matter is the recyclable materials extracted from the huge garbage ground called 'Jardim Gramacho', which gathers most of the waste of the huge metropolis of Rio de Janeiro. However this is only the inner circle of this smart film, as the first part describes the search that triggers the project in which the artist explores the space of the big garbage dump. At first it looks like one of its work, a square on the map, getting closer men seem to be visible at the dimensions of ants, then zooming in we discover a full human landscape composed of people who may be working physically in garbage but they do it with pride and dignity and a sense of purpose of their work and its benefits for the overall good of the community. The human dimensions of the characters discovered by Muniz are best material on which relies the quality of his art and the quality of the film director Walker made about the process of creating his art.
'Waste Land' is beautifully filmed, the characters are well chosen, and one can say that garbage never looked so beautiful and full of colors and the garbage people never looked so clean and sexy as in this film. There is one more ethical question that needs to be asked about the realization of this documentary. By picking a few of the people of 'Jardim Gramacho' and making them for a few months part of the artistic creation process, Muniz, Walker and their teams took them out of the social medium they were living in and exposed them not only to art, to better work conditions, but also to the broader world living at a very different pace, social relations and living standards. Even as the money raised from the selling of the works returned to the people involved and to the social activities in the 'garbage garden' I could not ask whether the human involved will be able to get back to their previous work, or even as they use some of the cash earned for the participation in the project will they be able to overcome the short glimpse they witnessed of the world of glamor of art trade? Although Walker's documentary tried to give a rather positive answer to this question I could not avoid a slight suspicion of manipulation, or at least of a self-righteous perspective of the facts as they were presented. But maybe I am just over-concerned, or maybe Muniz and Walker are right in their approach, and the path to help the under-privileged of this world starts not with 99 or 100 of the lucky ones enrolling to help, but with the first of the 100.
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