Reviewed by Marc Glassman
Feature documentary by Lucy Walker starring Vik Muniz
When acclaimed doc director Lucy Walker (Countdown to Zero, Blindsight) combined with renowned Brooklyn-based artist Vik Muniz on a radical film project dealing with poverty in his native Brazil, sparks were bound to fly. The end result, Waste Land, has already won awards at the Sundance and Berlin Film Festivals and is long-listed for this year’s Oscars. The duo journeyed down to Jardim Gramacho, the largest garbage-strewn landfill in the world, located near Rio de Janeiro. Working with seven of the 3500 “catadores” (pickers), Muniz was able to inspire them to make art out of trash.
The resulting pieces have sold for over a quarter of a million dollars–and the movie, which will share profits with the workers, is just now opening worldwide. Waste Land is a jewel: worthy, artistic and entertaining.