Waste Land (PG)

Starring: Vik Muniz

Reviewed,Anthony Quinn
Friday 25 February 2011 01:00

Jardim Gramacho is a gigantic landfill dump on the edge of Rio de Janeiro, "a city of garbage", which the artist Vik Muniz visited and photographed in this intriguing documentary.

Muniz's plan is to put together portraits of various catadores (refuse pickers) using recycled garbage as his material. The heartwarming part of it is that the artist, himself once as impoverished as these workers, will turn the proceeds over to the local community. Lucy Walker, a London documentarist, uncovers a near-Dickensian world of indigence and hears horrific stories from the mountains of rubbish – one young woman tells of finding a dead baby. The glimpses of favela life will make you thank your lucky stars you weren't born there.

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