The "Waste Land" documentary co-directed by Lucy Walker, Karen Harley takes us to the outskirts of Rio De Janeiro where the biggest landfill site in the world is located.
This really looks like an alien landscape, and certainly not a place where anyone would want to visit for any period of time. People have seen an opportunity in the garbage and make a living by sifting through it and finding things which may be of value. The 2010 Waste Land film follows a number of women and men who make a living of the landfill to get a picture of their lives and learn who they are. The star and writer of the documentary, Vik Muniz wanted especially to highlight the beauty of the human spirit in times of extreme hardship.
A quote from Claudio Carvalho located in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The Brazilian artist Vik Muniz rooted in New York decides to make the difference and travels to Jardim Gramacho, the largest landfill of the world in the outskirt of Rio de Janeiro, with the intention to help the pickers to improve their lives using his art. Vik recalls an event when he was very poor and lived in Brazil. He tried to break up a fight between two men, and he was shot when he was walking to his car. Later the shooter gave him some money that allowed Vik to travel to USA. Vik and his friend Fábio spend two years in Jardim Gramacho and get closer to a group of pickers of recyclable materials and takes pictures of them. He uses his talent to make art using recyclable material and photographs the results. Then he travels to London and sells one of the portraits in an auction. With the money, the pickers buy a truck, equipment and build a learning center and a library. The pickers that worked with him learn how to improve their lives and leave Jardim Gramacho.