Friday, November 5, 2010

Waste Land is Worthwhile

The below movie review is republished from this week's LA YOGA Magazine e-newsletter.  Click here to subscribe to LA YOGA's newsletter and get informative updates on yoga news, ideas and events.

Film of the Week: Waste Land Opens at the Nuart, November 5

“The moment when one thing turns into another is the most beautiful moment. A combination of sounds turns into music. And that applies to everything.”
~ Vik Muniz, Waste Land

Hailed as the Slumdog Millionaire of documentaries, Lucy Walker’s new film, Waste Land, is a testament to art as a source of transformation and to the power of the human spirit in its depiction of the evils of classism. The movie is set in Jardim Gramacho, the world’s largest landfill that receives 70% (or 7,000 daily tons) of greater Rio de Janeiro’s trash.Waste Land follows renowned Brazilian artist Vik Muniz over a three-year span as he transforms the lives of some of the 3,000 garbage recyclers, called catadores, who live on or near the landfill by helping them create art out of the same materials they work and cope with every day.

Born into a lower working-class family in São Paulo, Muniz is a sculptor, photographer and visual artist who arose to world acclaim by creating art from unusual materials such as chocolate syrup, dust and caviar. In Waste Land, Muniz uses trash to create large-scale portraitures and tell the humbling stories of some of Jardim Gramacho’s community members. The stories of the people behind the art give soul to the film, from the Machiavellian-quoting group leader to the landfill’s high-spirited elder statesmen who finds purpose in his work and knows that one person makes a difference because “99 is not 100.”

Jardim Gramacho is a place that many say even Christ has turned his back on, in reference to the famous Christ statue perched above Rio and facing away from the trash. In addition to directing awareness to the squalid living conditions and societal exclusion of the residents of this community, the movie also provides a revealing peak into the immensity of the problem that waste poses for the planet and for us all.

This is a must-see for anyone willing to take a close look at some hard and painful truths about chance, inequality and survival.

Waste Land opens at the Landmark Nuart in Los Angeles on Friday, November 5. For more information, visit:

1 comment:

  1. I can't wait to see this film. I know one way to get use out of all this garbage (