International art star Vik Muniz journeys to his native Brazil to collaborate with “catadores”–self-designated pickers of recyclable materials–in the world’s largest garbage dump, located on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro, to recreate photographic images of themselves out of garbage.
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Wonderful documentary that shows the deep (universal) humanity of the individuals involved, and the power of transformation through connecting with art. A rarity to see economically disadvantaged individuals presented as full persons.
Impressive document that shows an artist returning to his country and giving back to his people, in a creative process that allows us to reflect on the impact of waste on the lives of those that live on the fringe of society, not giving up their dignity. This is the "The Gleaners and I" of the 2010's and its perfect companion for a double session.
Beautifully touching and inspiring stuff. Muniz brings bucket-loads of his enthusiasm and a genuine desire to demonstrate the transformative power of art. His openness and honesty deserves to be commended. 4 stars
[part2] it's the surface that the movie barely scratches... she can do nothing more than hang it on her wall and stare at a suffered face, so familiar but still alien 'cause of its original purpose, to serve as a dispositif on which a movie could be made... people stay the same while poverty is still profitable.
Vik Muniz's work is interesting, but the director's attitude was disturbing me after the film ends, especially the latter scenes which those poor people looked at their own portraits (as art pieces) like they're worshipping something.
For some reason, I thought this movie was going to be an environmental thing. It's mostly a story about poverty. It's well-photographed, but not in a decorative way. The stories of the people behind the artwork are fascinating, and Vik Muniz's realization over the course of the film about how little he is separated from them is important- especially in a country with a shrinking middle class like the US.