7.9/10
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Waste Land (2010)

Not Rated | | Documentary | 21 January 2011 (Brazil)
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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.

Directors:

Lucy Walker, Karen Harley (co-director) | 1 more credit »

Star:

Vik Muniz
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 27 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Vik Muniz ... Himself
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Storyline

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 Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

What happens in the world's largest trash city will transform you.

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

Brazil | UK

Language:

Portuguese | English

Release Date:

21 January 2011 (Brazil) See more »

Also Known As:

Lixo Extraordinário See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,656, 5 November 2010, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$187,716

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$291,307
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

TV Host: Can you tell us how you came to use materials from the garbage?
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 83rd Annual Academy Awards (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Shot in the Back of the Head
Written by Moby
Performed by Moby
Produced by Moby
Moby appears courtesy of © Little Idiot Music
Published By Richard Hall Music, Inc
Administered By Kobalt Music Publishing Limited
All rights reserved
See more »

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User Reviews

Not a waste to watch
8 March 2011 | by jdesandoSee all my reviews

Vic Muniz's art has never been as influential as when he decided to spend 2 years at the world's largest landfill outside of Rio. The catadores or pickers became his subjects, a ragtag group of Shakespearean types who love what they do for a living, making something out of someone else's nothing. Waste land is the title for this engrossing documentary about art as few have experienced it till now.

Making a living is what they made until Muniz changed the way they looked a recyclables. He bonded the artifacts with the humans and created memorable portraits of the pickers. A show in London, which they attended, became a catalyst for change in their lives and in the lives of spectators who had no idea Rio's garbage had become Rio's recyclables under the hands of these professional pickers.

Muniz makes sure no one condescends, no one feels sorry for his subjects, some of whom have never known anything but the landfill and others who have chosen it rather than deal drugs or prostitute themselves. Waste Land is as dignified a story about the potential of the poor class to rise out of its garbage and transform it into art and a better life. For this reason, Muniz can stand with the great humanitarians like Albert Schwitzer and Mother Theresa.


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