Screen/Society--Rights! Camera! Action! Film Series--"Waste Land" (6:30 reception)
(Lucy Walker, Karen Harley, and João Jardim, 2010, 99 min, UK and Brazil, Portuguese and English, DVD)
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" - 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 the dignity and despair of the catadores as they begin to re-imagine their lives.
Director Lucy Walker (Devil's Playground, Blindsight, and Countdown to Zero) and co-directors João Jardim and Karen Harley have great access to the entire process and, in the end, offer stirring evidence of the transformative power of art and the alchemy of the human spirit.
-- Nominated for 2011 Oscar for Best Feature Documentary!
-- Winner of Audience Award for Best World Cinema Documentary at 2010 Sundance Film Festival!
-- Winner of Audience Award for Best Film and Amnesty International Human Rights Film Award at 2010 Berlin Film Festival!
-- "That a beautiful film could be set in the world's largest garbage dump sounds like an oxymoron, but acclaimed documentarian Lucy Walker has pulled off precisely that feat in her profoundly moving Waste Land" - Los Angeles Times
Sponsors: The Duke Human Rights Center at the Franklin Humanities Institute (DHRC@FHI), the Libraries-Special Collections, the Global Brazil Lab, and the Programs in the Arts of the Moving Image (AMI)