Movie List
Loading ...
Find Theaters and Movie Times
Search Movies

Review: Waste Land

A socially-conscious humanizing of trash collectors
By GERALD PEARY  |  February 24, 2011
3.5 3.5 Stars


Vik Muniz, a well-regarded Brazilian artist living in New York, is a socially conscious individual, and his photography-based œuvre celebrates the forgotten poor of Central and South America, with much of the profits being returned to the impoverished subjects of his artistry. For this documentary, filmmaker Lucy Walker accompanied Muniz on his most ambitious undertaking: a photographic tribute to the thousands who pick through the mountainous trash at Rio de Janeiro’s central landfill, digging in the rubble for recycling. Walker combines stirring studies of many of the Jardim Gramacho workers with a documenting of Muniz’s project — large-scale, dignified portraits framed by rephotographed, recyclable garbage. So here’s the question: are the indigent better off for this transformational experience, or does it just make returning to their grueling, stinking job that much more bitter? One worker’s answer: “I’m a person now — before, I was a little mule.”

Related: Review: Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters, In a Dream, Review: In a Dream, More more >
  Topics: Reviews , Brazil, Photography, Lucy Walker,  More more >
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   REVIEW: LIKE SOMEONE IN LOVE  |  March 12, 2013
    A decent little movie, but hardly a major one, from Iran's master filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami, who, self-exiled, here shoots in Tokyo with an all-Japanese cast.
  •   REVIEW: THE GATEKEEPERS  |  February 26, 2013
    Great cinema journalism, The Gatekeepers was the National Society of Film Critics' winner for Best Documentary of 2012.
  •   REVIEW: THE LITTLE FUGITIVE (1953)  |  February 27, 2013
    It's the 60th anniversary of this pioneering American independent feature, which greatly influenced both cinema vérité documentarians and the French New Wave.
  •   REVIEW: HOW TO RE-ESTABLISH A VODKA EMPIRE  |  February 20, 2013
    Daniel Edelstyn launched this film project after reading the spirited diary of his late grandmother, Maroussia Zorokovich, whose wealthy Jewish family split from Ukraine as the Bolsheviks were taking control.
  •   REVIEW: HAPPY PEOPLE: A YEAR IN THE TAIGA  |  February 12, 2013
    What Robert Flaherty did with title cards in his silent Nanook of the North , Werner Herzog manages with declamatory voiceover in Happy People : romanticization of the austere, self-reliant lives of hunters and trappers in the icebound north.

 See all articles by: GERALD PEARY