Waste Land review

“The moment when one thing turns into another is the most beautiful,” says crusading artist Vik Muniz in Lucy Walker’s heart-rending doc.

His project? Huge portraits of the destitute recyclers of Brazil’s Jardim Gramacho, the world’s largest tip, where Rio’s refuse – human and otherwise – ends up.

Combing mountains of crap, these indomitable catadores turn rubbish into gold, much like Muniz himself with his found-object collages.

What astounds isn’t their poverty, but their joie de vivre, a reminder of humanity’s ability to transcend its surroundings through art or just plain optimism.


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