A 2010 HFF Crystal Heart winner, Waste Land follows popular artist Vik Muniz as he travels to Jardim Gramacho, the world’s largest garbage dump near Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Muniz photographs “catadores,” people who make a living by picking recyclable materials out of the trash. We learn that the “catadores” are either born into this poverty-stricken lifestyle or pick as an alternative to selling drugs or prostituting themselves.
Six “catadores” repurpose trash into giant murals of themselves at Muniz’s studio, of which photographic prints are eventually sold for tens of thousands to of dollars at European auctions. As the film reveals more about these “catadores” we experience their everyday lives first-hand, feel their despair, and swell at their successes.
Waste Land showcases the transformative power of art and its affect on the human spirit. It challenges us to recognize those who are overlooked, both in our everyday lives and abroad. It makes us aware of other ways of life and how our own lifestyle may need adjusting.
On March 12 Heartland Truly Moving Pictures screened the documentary at the Arthur M. Glick Jewish Community Center in Indianapolis. The crowd was moved by the film and discussed their reactions with each other immediately afterwards:
Learn more about Waste Land at the film’s official website.
Thank you to everyone who attended the screening. View our calendar of events to learn more about upcoming HTMP screenings.