Waste Land
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Filmed over nearly three years, WASTE LAND follows renowned artist Vik Muniz as he journeys from his home base in Brooklyn to his native Brazil and the world's largest garbage dump, Jardim Gramacho, located on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro. There he photographs an eclectic band of "catadores" -- or self-designated pickers of recyclable materials. Muniz's initial objective was to "paint" the catadores with garbage. However, his collaboration with these inspiring characters as they recreate photographic images of themselves out of garbage reveals both dignity and… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"I do not mean to make their lives seem easy or pleasant. It is miserable work, even after they grow accustomed to the smell. But it is useful work, and I have been thinking much about the happiness to be found by work that is honest and valuable."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"It's sheer pleasure watching Muniz work -- seeing him seized by mad impulses of delight."
‑ Stephen Cole, Globe and Mail
"This conversion of garbage into humanitarian aid is just the beginning. Practical charity gives way to life-changing intimacy."
‑ Jeffrey Overstreet, Image
"Waste Land fuses the design concepts behind two of the most high-profile animations of recent years, Rio and the Oscar-winning Wall-E, into an essay about how hard some people are prepared to work."
‑ Graham Young, Birmingham Post
"It's inspiring, humbling and beautifully made."
‑ Henry Fitzherbert, Daily Express
"It shows us how artists find ideas and concepts for their work from the most unlikely sources, and it demonstrates the power of art to spark curiosity and cultural awareness in even the poorest, most underprivileged people."
‑ Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald
""Waste Land" is a testament that things can go from good to bad in an instant. But they can also improve just as quickly."
‑ Stephanie Merry, Washington Post
"The breadth of gratitude these catadores feel towards Muniz and the life-experience they undertake makes for an intelligent, emotional movie."
‑ Simon Foster, sbs.com.au
"The result is a film that works on multiple levels, casting light on a worldwide problem while delivering a big jolt of human hope."
‑ Robert W. Butler, Kansas City Star
"A well-made and often uplifting film that refuses to get angry yet still manages to point out that things aren't as they should be for a great many."
‑ Derek Malcolm, This is London
"While we await the definitive documentary about the glut of garbage, "Waste Land" reduces this global catastrophe to touchingly human scale."
‑ Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"It's not a very good title, Waste Land - this isn't a bleak film, at all - but just about everything else in Lucy Walker's documentary works, and illuminates."
‑ Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer
"Waste Land is a real treasure, the sort of heartwarming and life affirming study of people, lacking in both sentimentality and cynicism, that uplifts the audience and elevates the art form"
‑ Dan Jardine, Cinemania
"Muniz is a gifted, modest and altogether delightful man, and his project is both aesthetically fascinating and philosophically stimulating."
‑ Philip French, Guardian
"More self-conscious, subtle exploration than the dubious bleeding-heart PR stunt implied by its premise."
‑ Sophie Ivan, Film4
More reviews for Waste Land on Rotten Tomatoes

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