Waste Land Poster

Release Date: October 29th, 2010

DVD Release Date: March 15th, 2011

PG|1 hr 38 min

Plot Summary
Located just outside Rio de Janeiro, Jardim Gramacho, Brazil, is the world's largest garbage landfill. Modern artist Vik Muniz works with the so-called catadores, the men and women who pick through the refuse, to create art out of recycled materials. Muniz selects six of the garbage pickers to pose as subjects in a series of photographs mimicking famous paintings. In his desire to assist the catadores and change their lives, Muniz finds himself changed as well.

Cast: Vik Muniz

Director: Lucy Walker, Karen Harley, João Jardim

Genres: Documentary

Distributors: Arthouse Films

Keywords: Inspiring, Fascinating, Transformation, Gritty, Sacrifice, Spirited, 2000s

Ratings & Reviews

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  • Overall, though, the project brings enough good into this rough corner of the world that viewers can walk out with honest cause to be hopeful for its inhabitants. show more

  • It's not a very good title, Waste Land - this isn't a bleak film, at all - but just about everything else in Lucy Walker's documentary works, and illuminates. show more

  • A dump is a dump, but it's immediately clear that these are working people who are making the best of their options and who have built a shared camaraderie out of that determination. show more

See all critic reviews on metacritic.com


Winner Best Documentary
Grande Prêmio do Cinema Brasileiro (2011)
Nominated Best Editing - Documentary
Grande Prêmio do Cinema Brasileiro (2011)
Nominated Best Sound
Grande Prêmio do Cinema Brasileiro (2011)
Nominated Documentary (Feature)