Waste Land

Feb 24 2013

This documentary follows the artist Vik Muniz as engages with workers at the world’s largest garbage dump, Jardim Gramacho, on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro. He turns these pickers of recyclable materials into artistic collaborators, introducing them to the well heeled world of the global art market. Part of the proceeds from the sale of their collaborative work goes back into the social and cultural organizations associated with the dump.  While the rationalizations of the artist regarding his detachment from the participants is somewhat problematic, the documentary is not without merit. It manages to provide a view into a subculture, and its associated environmental and economic problems, that is seldom seen internationally. Directed by Lucy Walker.