Waste Land (2010)
- Summaries (5)
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.
A social documentary based around the lives of garbage pickers in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil as a man by the name of Vik Muniz creates art out of recycled material. The film starts with an introduction into Vik Muniz's career as an artist and how he is reveled as "one of the greatest [artists] of our generation"; swiftly leading into his desire to change the lives of the catadores, only to discover that he would become the changed.
The Brazilian artist Vik Muniz rooted in New York decides to make the difference and travels to Jardim Gramacho, the largest landfill of the world in the outskirt of Rio de Janeiro, with the intention to help the pickers to improve their lives using his art. Vik recalls an event when he was very poor and lived in Brazil. He tried to break up a fight between two men, and he was shot when he was walking to his car. Later the shooter gave him some money that allowed Vik to travel to USA. Vik and his friend Fábio spend two years in Jardim Gramacho and get closer to a group of pickers of recyclable materials and takes pictures of them. He uses his talent to make art using recyclable material and photographs the results. Then he travels to London and sells one of the portraits in an auction. With the money, the pickers buy a truck, equipment and build a learning center and a library. The pickers that worked with him learn how to improve their lives and leave Jardim Gramacho.
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.
On the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro is Jardim Gramacho, the world's largest landfill, where men and women sift through garbage for a living. Artist Vik Muniz produces portraits of the workers and learns about their lives.
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