07 Jul RAA shows documentary “Waste Land” on July 11
The documentary, filmed over nearly three years, follows artist Vik Muniz as he journeys to the world’s largest garbage dump, Jardim Gramacho near Rio de Janeiro, to photograph the catadores. This marginalized group lives by picking through the garbage for anything that can be recycled. Muniz finds them to be an amazing group of characters who share a strong sense of community and camaraderie. What could be a dark story turns into an uplifting film.
Muniz went with the intention of photographing the pickers with the garbage they spent their days sorting through. But the project turned into a collaboration in which each catadore selects the pieces of recyclable garbage to be photographed with. The finished photos find their way to some of the most prestigious auction houses in London, and all the proceeds from the sales go back to the catadores to help them improve their lives.
The film, directed by Lucy Walker, premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. It won numerous awards, including the Best Documentary Award of the International Documentary Association. It also aired on PBS in 2011. The film runs 99 minutes.