UK / Brazil, 2009 (MIFF 2010, Documentaries)
Director: Lucy Walker
“The moment when one thing turns into another thing is the most beautiful.” - artist Vik Muniz
From the squalor and poverty of the world's largest rubbish dump comes a work of pure artistry and joy.
Lucy Walker trains her camera on Brazilian artist Vik Muniz as he hatches a new project. Known for reconfiguring found objects to create images of people who live and work where the materials have been salvaged, Muniz heads to Jardim Gramacho landfill on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro. There he collaborates with the locals who make a living picking through the junk, known as ‘catadors' - Shakespearean characters who quote Machiavelli and inhabit a community made from the detritus of others.
A stirring statement on the transformative power of art, Waste Land was decorated with Audience Awards at both Sundance and the Berlin film festival.