Sepia Jardim Gramacho landscape with vultures, photograph by Vik Muniz, courtesy of Vik Muniz Studio.
Directed by Lucy Walker | 99 min. | Portuguese and English with English subtitles | 2010
Waste Land follows renowned artist Vik Muniz as he embarks on an artistic endeavor with a group of Brazilian "catadores" (trash pickers) in Jardim Gramacho, the world's largest garbage dump, located on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro. This Academy Award-nominated documentary, filmed over nearly three years, chronicles Muniz’s collaboration with these marginalized individuals to create monumental portraits of them using collected recyclable materials, and in the process reveals both the dignity and despair of these catadores as they begin to re-imagine their lives. Waste Land offers stirring evidence of the transformative power of art over the human spirit.