Intrn’l Video: Award-winning film showcases depth of human spirit among Brazilian trash sifters

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LatinaLista — Since 2010, the year the film WASTE LAND was released, it’s been piling up awards faster than the garbage that used to pile up at the world’s largest garbage dump outside Rio de Janiero — the focus of this award-winning film.

The film, described as the Slumdog Millionaire of documentaries, is about Brazilian-born artist Vik Muniz who decided to undertake an ambitious photography project focused on a group of Brazilians who wade through piles of garbage at the Jardim Gramacho landfill hunting for recyclable materials to sell. The landfill was closed in 2012.

Muniz’s idea was to recreate the photographs of the people out of garbage and make them bigger than life. He then had the pictures auctioned off and the monies from the pictures went to each person.

The documentary follows Muniz as he works with the catadores and helps them to literally see themselves differently. In the process, each of them realizes that their future isn’t defined by the piles of garbage they sift through to make a living.

The film’s companion website carries extensive information about the filming of the documentary, along with updates on what happened to each of the catadores featured in the film. WASTE Land is available on DVD and can be purchased on the film’s website.

(Featured Photo: (Screen grab) Artwork courtesy of Vik Muniz Studio)

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