Last Christmas my family and I went to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. After a week of touring the impressive Christ the Redeemer, the beaches of Ipanema, drinking countless caipirinha’s and Skols’ on the streets of Copacabana, eating the best foreign foods (this is no exaggeration) and visiting such sites including: Jardim Botanico, Escadaria Selaron, and Rio’s museum of contemporary art, I now have a deeper appreciation for Brazil.
So naturally when I came across a documentary about Brazil, art and humanity; I knew it would be worth watching. Waste Land is a powerful film about Vik Muniz, a Brazilian photographer and artist who spent two years of his life in Brazil’s Jardim Gramacho (a site that receives more trash a day than any other landfill in the world). There he documented the workers (aka “Pickers”; those who pick recyclable materials for a living) and in the end, Muniz created portraits with the use of garbage. Sounds…different. But one worth watching.
I’ve included some of the finished portraits that I enjoyed. I invite you to look at the portraits now and then come back after watching the film. It will bring much more meaning and appreciation for Muniz’s craft.