Friday, November 19, 2010

Nuestro Cine: Trash to treasure

On Thursday the shortlist of the fifteen films in the running for the Best Documentary Feature Oscar was revealed. Among the favorites to win the prized stautette are The Tillman Story, Waiting for ‘Superman’, and Exit Through The Gift Shop as well as a unique film set in Brazil.

Waste Land tells the tale of a project created by Brazilian expat artist Vik Muniz with the garbage pickers from Rio de Janiero's largest landfill. Muniz helped the "catadores" create portraits of themselves using the thousands of pounds of trash they sort through on a daily basis. The film shows the hardships the "catadores" go through (they earn their living by finding and selling scraps of recyclable materials) and the impact art can have on people. In addition, as was written in The Documentary Blog:
The result is a touching but controversial project that has the artist and his partners questioning the effects of interfering with the lives of these people. Will giving them a taste of life outside of the landfill provide them with unrealistic hopes? Will returning to picking devastate them? The film is shot quite nicely and Moby provides a wonderful score. Definitely worth checking out.
Directed by Britain's Lucy Walker, Waste Land may be a dark horse candidate to win the Oscar next February. Nevertheless, it is a very compelling and thoughtful documentary as you might be able to appreciate in the trailer below:

Video Source - YouTube via The Documentary Blog
Online Sources - The A.V. Club, BBC News, The Documentary Blog

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