(2010)

Critic Reviews

78

Metascore

Based on 20 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
90
"We are not pickers of garbage; we are pickers of recyclable materials," Tião, an impoverished Brazilian catadore, or trash picker, declares to a talk-show host in Lucy Walker's inspiring documentary Waste Land.
88
It's not a very good title, Waste Land - this isn't a bleak film, at all - but just about everything else in Lucy Walker's documentary works, and illuminates.
83
Though narrower in scope and lacking the first-person angle, Waste Land resembles Agnès Varda's great 2000 documentary "The Gleaners & I," particularly in its awe of tough, creative, hard-working people who live on the margins.
80
The Hollywood Reporter
Overall, though, the project brings enough good into this rough corner of the world that viewers can walk out with honest cause to be hopeful for its inhabitants.
80
Variety
Lucy Walker's Waste Land takes his (Vik Muniz) project one step deeper by actually getting to know Muniz's models, which brings a compelling human-interest dimension to the sort of art documentary otherwise better suited for TV.
80
Village Voice
A fascinating look at the complex intersections of art and charity, reality and perception.
75
Spend some time there, thanks to the documentary Waste Land, and you start to get the sense that, amid the trash, something really is blooming.
75
While we await the definitive documentary about the glut of garbage, Waste Land reduces this global catastrophe to touchingly human scale.
75
Waste Land is just what the film's website says it is: "stirring evidence of the transformative power of art and the alchemy of the human spirit."
60
It probably would have helped if Walker (who credits two other codirectors) had chosen just one of those avenues for deeper study; her doc has a vertiginous way of feeling arty and ephemeral at one moment, humane and maybe too earthbound the next.

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